The African Library Project awarded Hillbrook School a 2016 Compassion in Action Award. The award, announced on October 8 at ALP’s bi-annual fundraising gala, honors the work of Hillbrook’s 6th graders in providing books for 14 community libraries in Malawi.
Hillbrook students and parents became involved with ALP during the 2008-09 school year. Since then the students have organized two book drives a year, collecting 2000 gently used books each year, and have raised the funds needed to ship the books to Malawi.
“The African Library project is so proud of the Hillbrook students,” said Chris Bradshaw, ALP founder. “Thanks to their work in collecting books and raising funds, communities in Malawi that previously had no access to books now have libraries. The Hillbrook community has made an exceptional contribution to African literacy.”
An independent JK-8 school located in Los Gatos, CA, Hillbrook was established in 1935 to challenge traditional educational models. An important part of the Hillbrook experience is learning to become a global citizen. According to Eden Maisel, Service Learning Coordinator, "At Hillbrook, we inspire students to reach beyond themselves. We want them to understand how others live and learn how to give back. Partnership with the African Library Project is a perfect way for our students to learn how to give back.”
“In 2016 students raised an impressive $750.62 with their bake sale, which covered domestic and international shipping,” says Erin Schwartz, Director of Communications & Community Engagement at Hillbrook. "All bake sale items were homemade by the 6th graders and their families. Our student and parent community stopped by in droves to support the tables and purchased tasty treats to benefit this amazing cause.”
The book drives and fundraising have given the students a feeling of empowerment. As Eden explains, “Book drives provide concrete reinforcement. The results students see from collecting books, packing them and taking them to the post office teaches them that they can make a huge difference.”
The African Library Project matches schools and organizations in the United States with African communities to create libraries. U.S. children and families donate their books and share the gift of reading with children in Africa. Books are collected in the U.S. through book drives and shipped by volunteers directly to the communities requesting them. Click here to visit www.africanlibraryproject.org