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Global Citizens

Quick Notes...

Surya Rajan (in red) of the Newark Academy
Surya Rajan

February 2009.- Surya Ranjan is holding a book drive in support of GLP at her school as well as in her Livingston, New Jersey community from February to April 2009. She's pulled in all the members of her family and they hope to visit their designated recipients, the Delta Primary School in South India, as a future project. Surya also decided that for her "Sweet Sixteen" birthday she would ask those attending to donate to her cause in lieu of gifts to her. Way to go Surya!

Neeraj Shekhar in front of the pallet of books sent off to India
Neerak Shekhar

Jan. 2009.- Neeraj Shekhar spent some six months collecting nursing and English books for the Delta Campus School of Nursing in South India. He reached out to his family, friends and wider community to raise the money to ship the books in January 2009 and during his spring break (March 2009) he and his parents will be visiting the Delta Campus for two weeks. While at the campus they will be helping to upgrade the reference library in the nursing school as well as run a conversational Engish program for primary school students at the associated Delta Primary School. We look forward to their report on the trip!

Hayley Diverio and Alexis Grieco of Gill St. Bernard's
Hayley Diverio and Alexis Grieco

Dec. 2008.- Hayley Diverio and Alexis Grieco got involved with the Global Literacy Project 2008 with a collection for International Literacy Day on September 8th that they directed to our "Backpacks for Kids" program. They haven't looked back since! Currently they are working on the culmination of their spring book drive at Gill St. Bernard’s which will run throughout April 2009. They already have some 6,000 books collected over the last few months--without any publicity!--and expect that the big April push will see them collecting three times as much! WOW!

Bragg School fifth graders along with their teacher Meryl Ironson
Bragg school 5th graders with teacher

Chester, New Jersey, Dec. 2008.- On December 6, 2008 Bragg School fifth graders, along with their teachers Meryl Ironson and Nicole Macaluso, completed a book drive that collected 13,000 books! They are now working on sharing stories, letters and poetry with fellow fifth graders at the Randfontein Primary School in South Africa. The hope is to complete and publish an anthology of poems at the end of the 2008-2009 academic year. Read more media coverage HERE.

GLP/Pingry School South Africa Book Drive Collects Over 50,000 Books. More...

Teen’s bar mitzvah project to help literacy in Kenya. More...

Global Citizens Network


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Where is South Africa?Chatham Day School Students Aim to Make A Difference in South African Students' Lives As They Themselves Are Transformed

September 2007-May 2008.- At the beginning of the 2007-2008 school year, Chatham Day School (CDS), in conjunction with the Global Literacy Project, began piloting a Global Literacy Program. As an inaugural school in GLP's revamped School-To-School Partnership Program we sought to promote a thematic study of South Africa and provide reading and writing opportunities, that would be integrated with the Middle School social studies and language arts curricula. More...

(Read additional coverage in a local newspaper... Chatham Courier 5/7/08. You can find out more about the Chatham Day School and Thabisile Primary School partnership program HERE)


Pingry FamiliesGLP/Pingry School South Africa Book Drive Collects Over 50,000 Books!

February-June 2007.- Students, parents and teachers at the Pingry School kicked off their book drive on February 2nd [Watch Videos: 1 | 2 ]. Spearheaded by students from the Bianco, Carver, Ramaswamy-Shekhar, Steele and Vanech families, the initial goal was to collect 25,000 books along with the necessary funds to ship them to South Africa this summer. However, the group ended up collecting twice that amount! More...

See local New Jersey newspaper coverage here--> 1 | 2

Also, read about the book drive in the July 2007 on-line edition of Vanity Fair!

Also read about their trip to South Africa here >>

See South African news coverage here >>


Teen's Bar Mitzvah Project to Help Literacy in Kenya

December 2006.- Matthew Wille has an abiding love of books and the Flanders teen plans to extend his interest to promote literacy in Kenya. Matthew, 13, is collecting books and funds as part of the community action requirement for his bar mitzvah. The coming of age ceremony is scheduled for March 10 at Temple Hatikvah in Flanders.

Matthew hopes to collect 1,000 books and $4,000 in donations to pay the shipping costs. Global Literacy Project will in turn donate 19,000 books to the 1,000 collected by Matthew. All the books will be sent to Chamisiri section of Kenya. For more information please contact Matthew via Viki Willie at More...


Global Learning Expedition volunteers visit Kenya to explore setting up water intervention projects

A group of volunteers traveled to eastern Kenya (August, 5-26, 2006), into a region hit by three years of drought, to install a rainwater harvesting system for a community where GLP already helped to create a library.

Rutgers student shakes Kenyan elder's hand


See Rutgers Focus story: 1, 2


Boy and BeakersOak Knoll School First Grade Makes A Difference

November 2006.- Megan Watkins is a first grade teacher at Oak Knoll School (Summit, NJ), who decided to give new life to her "Spotlight on Literacy" reading system. She and her students donated enough books for 18 community learning center students.


Our "Global Citizens" include wonderful members of local organizations, such as perhaps Lions and Rotary Clubs or other NGOs, that help collect, sort and distribute books to happy recipients around the world.

Boy and BeakersSouth Amboy/Sayreville Rotary Chapter Helps Give Gift of Reading to Tobago Children

2003/2004.- GLP was very pleased to work with the South Amboy/Seyreville chapter of Rotary International in collecting books to contribute to primary school library collections on the small Caribbean island of Tobago.

With the help of the Rotarians, GLP eventually shipped over 18,000 books to Tobago where volunteer Jane Young-Anglin, working with the Tobago Rotary chapter (District 7030), spent two months distributing and installing the books in various school libraries, such as Mason Hall Primary seen here.

This was yet another example of the generosity shown by so many global citizens!



Emeka Onukaogu"The Power of Literacy and Why Global Citizenship Matters," by Emeka Onukaogu

Emeka Onukaogu describes the power of literacy in a letter sent to Denniston Bonadie in February 2002:

"Before 1966, it was common for the Nigerian primary and secondary school children to own books. Extensive and intensive reading was promoted at the school, community, regional and national levels through festivals of art and culture. Libraries were common in primary and secondary schools. State governments had mobile libraries that made books available in rural areas all over the country. Opportunity to self-develop through home education and correspondence schools were common. Rapid Results College, School of Careers and Wolsley Hall were some correspondence schools that capitalized on the desire by our people to profit from long distance education. Long distance, education thrived then because books were available everywhere..."

"I am, for instance, a living testimony of what books and reading empowerment can do. My parents were only able to give me basic secondary school education. During my secondary school days, I was taught Literature and English Language by an American Peace Corps volunteer from Massachusetts - one Mr. B.A Cornel. He taught me how to read and encouraged my colleagues and me to read extensively. Thus after my secondary school education, I was able to self-teach myself at home and accordingly I took the University of London General Certificate of Education (A Level) examination at home. I passed at a sitting all the 3 papers I enrolled for in that examintion. If I had gone to a higher school, I would have spent two years to get that certificate. However, because of the reading empowerment I acquired in my secondary school days through the help of Mr. B.A Cornel, I stayed at home and through self-tutoring, was able in less than 9 months to prepare for and pass that examination."

"Today, the privileges the Nigerian child enjoyed in the 60's regarding book ownership are nowhere to be found. When the Nigerian Military took over governance in 1966, it ...destroyed our educational system...With the destruction of the book culture, the critical thinking ability of the Nigerian child was crippled... Today, the Military is no more in authority. We have regained our freedom... One way to maintain our freedom is to revive and revitalize the reading/book culture in our country. That is why the Reading Association of Nigeria, which I head, is excited about your [Global Literacy Project] promise and willingness to ship books to Nigeria..."

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