Distributing knowledge through the Book Partnership Project

Fred Siegman, Ron Harvey and Jane Florine

Fred Siegman, Ron Harvey and Jane Florine getting ready to pack books.

By Mary Mares-Awe—THE CHICAGO CHAPTER OF THE FULBRIGHT ASSOCIATION  is in the final push of completing this year’s book drive as part of its Book Partnership initiative. More than one thousand books have been collected from various schools, organizations, libraries and private individuals over the past several months. Most of the books have been sorted, boxed, and are now ready to be shipped.

The books will be donated to Ethiopian children and to students and children in Macedonia. We are in negotiations with Turkish Airlines for their contribution to this worthwhile project—shipping the books to Macedonia. Some of the Spanish-language books in our collection have been earmarked for children in Guatemala.

José Rodríguez, Jim Nowaczok, Ana Gil-García and Mary Mares-Awe

José Rodríguez, Jim Nowaczok, Ana Gil-García and Mary Mares-Awe

At this point many thanks to everyone  including José, Ron, Mary, Jeff, Ana, Jenni, Fred, Jim, Jane and others who gave up a  part of their  Saturday March 1st, and this past Saturday, March 7th,  in sorting, and boxing up the books. Also, thanks to and many others who’ve been involved with gathering and delivering the books to our storage facility at the Ethiopian Community Association in Rogers Park. This is a huge effort and anyone’s contribution, no matter how small or large, is paramount to the success of this wonderful project.

The books should be on their way to their destinations in the next few weeks.

Background: The Book Partnership began in 2007 and has involved strategic relationship building between our Chicago Chapter and Fulbright Alumni Associations in different countries. Over the last 7 years, thousands of books for school-aged children have been donated. They’ve then been shipped to Fulbright Alumni in Panama, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, Moldova, Ghana and Botswana. The Fulbright Alumni Associations have then distributed the books to local NGOs and schools, and ultimately into the hands of teachers and children.

Photos by Jenni Schneiderman

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