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2007 News Highlights ____________________________________News Archive Button News Archives

Student awardees with South African Consul GeneralSouth African Consul General Joins with GLP To Commend Middle School and High School Volunteers

December 1, 2007.-The Hon. Fikele Magubane, South African Consul General to New York, graciously joined the members of The Global Literacy Project at their year end dinner themed "An Evening of Celebration and Reflections." As part of the evening's activities, she recognized a dozen middle school to high school students who helped collect and ship over 80,000 books for African schools and community libraries during the past year.

The Library Director of the Pingry Short Hills campus, Ann D’Innocenzo was honored with the “Librarian of the Year Award.” Her award recognized her support for creating a new library in Randfontein—a town west of Johannesburg—and a system that categorizes books with color-coding. This system will now be used in future community-based libraries that operate without full time trained library staff.

Five students, Chloe Carver, Emma Carver, Charlotte Steele, Christina Vanech and Matthew Wille were also awarded The GLP's "Volunteer of the Year" plaque. The award seeks to identify those who have demonstrated exceptional services, commitments, and caring.

Library Director of the Pingry School's Short Hills campus, Ann D’Innocenzo was honored with GLP's 2007 “Librarian of the Year Award”

Ann D’InnocenzoThe award recognized her volunteer efforts in creating a new library in Randfontein—a town west of Johannesburg—and a system that categorizes books with color-coding. This system will now be used in future community-based libraries that operate without full time trained library staff. More...

Read Ann's reflections on her trip HERE.

Students Receive "Volunteer of the Year" Plaque in Recognition of Their Outstanding Contributions

2007 Volunteers of the Year

Five students, Chloe Carver, Emma Carver, Charlotte Steele, Christina Vanech and Matthew Wille were awarded The GLP's "Volunteer of the Year" plaque.

The award seeks to identify those who have demonstrated exceptional services, commitments, and caring.

Matthew Wille and parentsTeen's Bar Mitzvah Project to Create Community Library in Western Kenya

"20,000 Books on Their Way to Western Kenya"

November, 2007.-Matthew Wille's abiding love of books has culminated in the transfer of 20,000 books that will create the first and only community run public library in the Chamasiri Location of western Kenya. Matthew came up with the idea of collecting books and the money to ship them to Kenya last fall as he began preparations for his Bar Mitzvah, held in March of this year.Matthew Wille Matthew reached out to friends, family and local book stores to collect nearly 2000 books (He initially planned to collect 1000 but got carried away!) to which GLP was able to add 19,000 more by the end of summer.

Matthew was also able to raise enough funds to sponsor a 20 foot container to ship the books. After a short wait as the potential library building (donated by local Chamasiri community members) was being repaired, GLP is now gearing up to have the opening for the beginning of the new year in Kenya.

Kids Get A Healthy Dose of Reading Materials on the Side at the 2007 "Halloween Monster Mash"

Kid with book gift for HalloweenKid dipping for eyesNovember 2, 2007.- Children from local elementary and grammar schools as well as any children staying in local family shelters were invited to the Cook/Douglass Recreation Center-converted for Halloween Monster Mash. As usual GLP volunteers provided a unique twist on the Halloween experience. Along with candy and other such treats, some 200 families with children in New Brunswick's elementary and middle schools had the opportunity to win books and dictionaries.

GLP volunteers also encouraged parents to take an active role in their children's learning by distributing publications from the National Institute for Literacy--including its Literacy Begins At Home: Teach Them To Read.

<--GLP volunteer Samantha Mendenhall (in purple hat) has fun with one participant

GLP and Puerto Rican Action Board Supporters Make A Difference for Preschoolers

Andrew and Jenina AdornoOctober 27, 2007.-Andrew Adorno spent his early years in the daycare and pre-school classrooms of the Puerto Rican Action Board in New Brunswick. For the 2007 Make A Difference Day, Andrew and his mother Jenina were back to help make a difference for another generation of young people from New Brunswick. They were on hand with GLP volunteers to received a range of donations to the daycare classrooms on Saturday, October 27th-National "Make A Difference Day."

GLP volunteers arrive at Townsend St.GLP volunteers spent the past several weeks collecting books and play-school learning items. In September we donated an initial set of books in English and Spanish (the language of many students at home)-now we are following up.

Recipients will become part of the growing GLP "Culture of Reading" program! By sending books home in the language of the family we encourage reading... By providing the same books in English, we encourage multilingual learning and prepare the kids for future success as well as helping parents at home who will learn along with their kids. The play school supplies will help kids see learning as being something fun and rewarding.

Make A Difference Day is a national day of helping others -- a celebration across the USA of neighbors helping neighbors.

Over 30 Groups Support "Walk for Literacy" Event

Walkers supporting 2007 walkathon for literacySaturday, October 20, 2007.-Walkers from over 30 organizations in the tri-state area took on the challenge to make a difference in the educational opportunities for learners around the world.

Responding to the 2007 challenge to "Make a Difference Today," the walkers came out in support of daycare and kindergarten school libraries from New Jersey, USA to Kibera, Kenya as well as a community learning center in a recently earthquake devastated village of Peru. More...

Celebrating International Literacy Day at the Puerto Rican Action BoardInternational Literacy Day 2007 Program Supports Early Childhood Literacy in Puerto Rican Action Board Daycare and Preschool Classrooms

New Brunswick, NJ, USA, Sept. 10, 2007.-In support of The Global Literacy Project’s commitment to literacy and in recognition of International Literacy Day, The GLP donated books and literacy supplies to children at the Puerto Rican Action Board Daycare and Preschool Classrooms. There are some 265 children in three facilities and each child received book donations. Children in the three to five year old classes received two books to take home, with children who speak Spanish at home having one of the books in Spanish. The GLP’s goal is to foster reading interaction between parents and children on at ongoing basis at home.

According to the New Jersey based Focus On Literacy, Inc., in New Jersey, of the 8 million residents, there are between 2.5 and 2.8 million over the age of 16 without the literacy tools that are needed for them to be self sufficient to care for themselves or their families. Children who come from families of non-readers will likely follow that trend. Additionally, according to studies, one third of children in the 3rd grade, are not able to read at this level, and if left un-addressed will fall further behind potentially becoming our future illiterate adults.

Initiatives such as the Puerto Rican Action Board Daycare and Preschool Classrooms are important front line institutions that ensure a future filled with possibilities and potential. (See Home News Tribune coverage here...)

students receive commendationGLP Volunteers Warmly Welcomed by South African Community

August 4-18, 2007.-Over two dozen GLP volunteers received a warm welcome from community members of the Randfontein area (outside Johannesburg), as well as to the Kagiso and Soweto districts in the city. Thelma Tate LibraryThe group spent two weeks in South Africa during which time they distributed books to create nine school libraries as well as volunteering to help create a community learning center (the Thelma Tate Community Learning Center) in Witfontein. Named after deceased Rutgers Librarian Thelma Tate who was a co-founding board member of GLP, the center will serve as a nucleus for GLP literacy initiatives in that region.

A most pleasant part of the visit was the invitation extended to the group by the Randfontein Municipal Government to visit city hall where the students who spearheaded the book drive were commended with letters of appreciation delivered by Mrs. Caroline Setsiba, the Assembly Speaker. More... (See South African news coverage here...)

New Jersey students with pallets of packed booksNew Jersey Students Collect Over 50,000 Books for South African School Libraries

Hillside, NJ, USA, June, 2007.-Led by Emma Carver, Chloe Carver and Christina Vanech with help from their friends in the Ramaswamy-Shekhar and Steele families, central New Jersey students, parents and other community members were mobilized 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 the planned amount of books! The books will be distributed throughout schools and communities (as well as an orphanage) in rural areas outside of Johannesburg, as well as to the Kagiso and Soweto districts in the city. More... (See local New Jersey newspaper coverage here--> 1 | 2)

See details about the drive in the July 2007 on-line edition of Vanity Fair!

Just as exciting is the fact that the students will soon be following the collected books to South Africa! A dozen students and their parents along with several teachers and the Pingry middle school's librarian also intend to travel to South Africa where they will help create two school libraries and a multimedia room.

Olubayi Olubayi speaks at Kenya DiasporaGLP President Delivers Opening Speech of the 2007 Kenya Diaspora Conference

Kenya Diaspora audience as Olubayi Olubayi speaksAtlanta, Ga, USA, March 22-24, 2007.- Dr. Olubayi Olubayi, GLP's president gave a talk on “The Emerging Culture of National Unity in Kenya” on the first day of the International Conference and Investment Forum at Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, GA. His talk focused on an emerging national culture in Kenya founded on multiple identities and which borrows freely from all the Kenyan ethnicities. More... 1, 2

For More Stories About Our Activities and Accomplishments Go To Our ARCHIVES

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