Please join us as an implementation partner of the Liberian Books Project—a life-changing collaborative grassroots project that celebrates the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.
Join our live broadcast from Liberia during International Education Week 2009November 16th-20th, 2009 with esteemed invited guest, the honorable, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, Africa’s first elected female head of state and other special guests.We invite President Sirleaf to “cast the gavel” that officially begins the campus book dives.
During International Education Week, show a monumental film about Liberia on campus as part of a simultaneous viewing with participating colleges across America.
Support our campus wide effort to collect donated used college textbooks to provide educational resources to Liberian schools. (read more)
A Brief History
The West African nation of Liberia has recently emerged from fourteen years of civil conflict (1989-2003). During the conflict more than 95% of the country’s infrastructure—clinics, hospitals and schools were damaged or destroyed. As a direct result, Oxfam International estimates that at the end of the country’s civil crisis Liberia had an illiteracy rate of 90% among women and more than 75% among men. Today, Oxfam International estimates that more than 80% of Liberia’s 3.6 million people live on less than $1 a day.
In 2005, Liberia shattered the ceiling on gender equality in Africa by electing Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, a US educated economist, as Africa's first elected female head of state.Her election marked a renewed focus on the development of Liberia's ruined education infrastructure and a commitment to achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals of 2015.
The Detroit, Michigan—based Liberian Literacy Foundation has developed the Liberian Books Project to collect 1.2 million donated used college textbooks to build 1,200 literacy centers in Liberia and educate 1.8 million people. The project’s goals are achieved by partnering with colleges and universities to collect 1,000 used college textbooks on each campus to support one partner school in Liberia.
The Liberian Literacy Foundation designates donated books into two tiers. Tier I books are those designed for Kindergarten thru 12th grade levels. These books will also be transported to literacy centers in Liberia. Tier II books are those designed for college level use within the United States. The foundation places Tier II books into its online bookstore to be resold with the proceeds covering the cost of training more than 1,200 teachers, building 1,200 literacy centers, and providing renewable electricity to hundreds of literacy centers to address the high rate of illiteracy in Liberia.
Our pilot program, which ran from 2007-2008 at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, has demonstrated that the goals of the project for each college campus are easily achievable. Through our pilot project: we successfully collected 1,000 used college textbooks; we supported one scholarship for a Liberian student at Wayne State University, and we provided training for one literacy tutor from the Wayne State University community.
The great success of the pilot program of the Liberian Books Project model, at Wayne State University, demonstrates the practicality, the achievability and the sustainability of our expansion goals of the project to other colleges and universities.
This year, on each campus, we will collect a thousand used college textbooks to provide computers, internet access, and renewable electricity for one Liberian school.
These tools provided by the Liberian books project are essential to building a sustainable future for Liberian schools. Next year, during International Education Week these tools will also provide a viable system for partner schools in Liberia and the US to communicate via the internet and exchange information worldwide.
International Education Week is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education. It is part of an effort to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, exchange experiences in the United States. The Liberian Literacy Foundation has chosen International Education Week as an opportunity to participate in the celebration of the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. During International Education Week, we invite you to join us by supporting our efforts of fostering global community and exchange by participating in our effort to collect used college textbooks in support of these Liberian schools! The dates for International Education Week this year are: November 16 – 20, 2009.
The project’s mission in Liberia is to provide educational support to each Liberian school in the following manner:
·Deliver a small library of books in recognition of the US college partner;
·Provide solar and wind powered electricity generators to the Liberian school;
·Create a scholarship for one Liberian teacher on the US college partner’s campus.
What makes the Liberian Books Project such an innovative and sustainable vision is that it is funded largely by the sale of used college textbooks and sustained by Liberia’s natural climate of abundant wind and solar energy.
Recycling Books:Books that may be destined for the trash bin are given a new life. The sale of these used textbooks make college education more affordable for US students while delivering state of the art educational resources to schools in Liberia.
Renewable Electricity:Today many of Liberian schools are without electricity.Most schools that do have electricity must rely on portable generators. These schools with generators are not always afforded the opportunity to have electricity due to the high cost of the fossil fuel based products required to operate the generators. Each solar and wind powered generator from our project will provide power to a Liberian school for up to 30 years.Additionally, this renewable electricity is sustained by Liberia’s natural climate of abundant wind and solar energy.
·Software Sharing:By providing renewable electricity to literacy centers the project allows many communities access to computers and the most updated software learning tools.Through this innovative approach of the Liberian Books Project, internet based software designed by Aztec Softwarewill allow both Liberian communities and US communities to use the same software package simultaneously.
Mission In The United States
Many US communities are faced with the same challenges confronting Liberian communities. In Detroit, as a model to be duplicated in other communities, the Liberian Books Project recognizes the challenges by working with Pro-Literacy Detroit and the Hush House to dedicate a portion of its proceeds to combating illiteracy in local communities in the US.
Pro-Literacy Detroit—the Detroit Chapter of Pro-Literacy International, is a nonprofit organization that has served Michigan residents for more than 25 years. Pro-Literacy Detroit has made literacy services readily available and convenient to over 6,000 learners. Through the Liberian Books Project Pro-Literacy Detroit will certify 1,200 volunteers as literacy tutors to aid learners in local communities.Additionally, Pro-Literacy Detroit will provide Workshop Leaders to develop literacy trainers in Liberia.
The Hush House is a Detroit based community organization of educators and advocates who are committed to global community building as it relates to social, education, economic, and environmental justice.The Hush House was recognized by Wayne State University as the 2008 Martin Luther King Jr. Award recipient for the work they do in the Detroit community.Their services include programs of assistance to persons returning to the community from incarceration, leadership development training for human rights, and nutrition and healthy living workshops through community gardens.Through the partnership with the Hush House two college professors from Wayne State University and Eastern Michigan University will travel to Liberia to work with Liberian universities to help build Liberia’s capacity as it relates to social, education, economic, and environmental justice.
Each US college partner collects 1,000 used college textbooks to support a Liberian school. We plan to sell approximately 452 books to raise $8500 and provide a complete package of support to one Liberian school. The package of educational support will include the following:
Scholarships are extended to each Liberian teacher provided by 13 used textbooks sold to raise $250.On June 19, 2009, Kakata Rural Teachers Training Institute (KRTTI) in Kakata, Margibi County, Liberia, held its first graduation for trained teachers in 20 years. There were 178 teachers awarded certificates. Through the Liberian Books Project, 1200 additional Liberian teachers will be trained at KRTTI by 2015.(read details)
A Small library of Books is delivered by the sale of 13 used college textbooks to raise $250. The books will be presented to each Liberian school in recognition of their US college partner. These books will be used to advance the basic literacy needs of students and individuals within the community.(read details)
Renewable Electricity is provided by the sale of 266 used college textbooks to raise $5,000. A 1kw wind and solar powered generator system is delivered to produce renewable electricity for the school complex.(read details)
Computers are provided by the sale of 53 used college textbooks to raise $1,000. A small network of computers will allow each school’s library to be connected through the internet with that of other schools in the country.(read details)
Internet Access is provided by the sale of 53 used college textbooks to raise $1,000. Internet Access will allow Liberian teachers access to the most updated teaching tools as well as the ability to work collaboratively with other teachers across the country.(read details)
Aztec Software is provided by the sale of 13 used college textbooks to raise $250. Aztec Software is a leading computerized learning tool. The software supports learners in the areas of K-12th grade levels, General Education Development (GED), financial literacy and basic literacy. The Liberian Books Project employs Aztec’s Learning System—a unique method of Assess-Test-Learn-Practice-Test (ATLPT) to ensure the consistency and quality of each learner’s experience.(read details)
Clean Water Systems are provided by the sale of 26 used college textbooks to raise $500. Electricity and pump equipment delivered will allow each school to pump clean water from below ground wells to make it more accessible to students.(read details)
P Project Costs Liberian Books Project International Education Week Campus Book Drive Event
Book Drive Sponsorship………………………………………………….…$500.00
We are soliciting advertising sponsorship from the local business partners, alumni associations, and corporate partners to cover the cost of the event on each campus. Breakdown of Book Drive Costs
The campus book drive begins with a film screening. The film serves as an introduction to Liberia, the impact of the country’s civil conflict, and the challenges faced by the people of Liberia. This film screening brings together people from within the campus community interested in learning more about Liberia. This event also introduces our campus sponsors and kicks-off the book collection effort.
50 boxes will be printed to include the logos of our book drive sponsors. Each box is given to a volunteer who collects 25 used college textbooks to fill the box.
At the conclusion of the book drive boxes must be transported from each school to a central location within each state to be delivered to our implementation partner Alibris.
Sponsors are recognized by flyer inserts included in the Liberian Books Project Guide to be distributed to individuals as an introduction to the project. The inserts also include information allowing donors to opt for a tax deduction for their donated book.
Advance project deployment………………...……… ($186.00)
A portion of funds provided by sponsors of the book drive goes directly toward building the first 25 literacy centers in Liberia.
Join Us We are requesting the following of each participant:
Student Organizations—College campus organizations participate by adopting the project as a service learning activity to collect donated used college textbooks in support of the project activities, and by becoming literacy tutors certified to assist learners in their local communities and beyond.
Alumni Associations—We ask alumni associations to join in this global effort by sponsoring a book drive on each campus and donating a book for each graduating student. (Project Cost)
College Institutions—College institutions participate in this international effort by creating one scholarship for a Liberian teacher on each US college campus.
College Professors—College professors are presented an opportunity to travel to Liberia to provide their services to Liberian colleges on a short term exchange basis.
Community Partners—We ask community partners to join in this grassroots effort by supporting a book drive on one college campus within their community.
Please join us as an implementation partner in this life-changing collaborative project by assisting us in sharing this information with the organizations in your college community and supporting a book drive on your campus beginning on November 16, 2009~