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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA joins more than 800 colleges in book drive for African students

    Instead of letting biology books gather dust on a shelf or selling them for $3 at buybacks, UA students also have the option to send their textbooks to schools in Africa.

    The Campaign Against Poverty and Circle K International service organizations are organizing a textbook donation program to send textbooks to Africa through Better World Books and Books for Africa, who organize the donations.

    “”Many, many of the recipients have never seen a book.””
    – Deb McDonald, assistant director, Books for Africa

    Starting today, students can drop off used textbooks at all of the residence hall lobbies, Students can also drop books off at Associated Students of the University of Arizona offices in the Student Union Memorial Center, the information desk in the SUMC and the Arizona Bookstores on North Park Avenue, said Deema Tabbara, president and founder of Campaign Against Poverty at the UA.

    Around 800 colleges across the U.S. have donated books to Better World Books, and a number of schools in the Minnesota area donate to Books for Africa, which is located in St. Paul, Minn.

    At the end of the book drive May 11, the books will be picked up by Better World Books and shipped in crates to 28 African nations.

    “”Many, many of the recipients have never seen a book,”” said Deb McDonald, assistant director of Books for Africa. “”You go into these classrooms and the teachers teach by memorization to the students, and the students learn by memorization. But obviously a lot can be lost there.””

    Books of all subjects and grade levels will be accepted at the drive. Schools in Africa then select books they want by category and receive the shipment.

    “”We choose between primary-level reading to graduate-level business. They get to choose the books they want,”” McDonald said.

    Organizers of the drive are optimistic about the response to the program.

    “”Originally, I was e-mailing professors to see if I could put (bins) in their departments, and I’m surprised they were really excited about it,”” Tabbara said. “”I hope we get a good turnout because professors are really excited about announcing it in their classes.””

    Since 1988, when Books for Africa was founded, more than 15 million books have been donated. The books are an important part of education in Africa because of the lack of resources.

    “”If you know how to read, you can teach yourself. You can educate yourself,”” McDonald said.

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