Each day on the treadmill or incline machine at the YMCA, I've been reading "Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace One School at a Tme" by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. It is "must" reading. It is hard to put down, but I limit my "Y" books to exercise time as an incentive for working out each day.
Thanks to the book about Greg Mortenson's amazing commitment to building schools for girls in remote mountain communities, now schools and school librarians are raising money for rural schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan through penny campaigns. One example is in Massachusetts, where High School Librarians Joanne Freeley and Debbie Jordan at Walpole High School Library began a Pennies for Peace fundraiser after sponsoring the summer reading book, Three Cups of Tea. Kudos to Walpole H.S. Librarians and students! Their goal is to raise $1,200 for the Central Asia Institute, a non-profit that builds the schools. It is important to note that the Central Asia Institute Board Chair Julia Bergman is Library System Administrator for City College of San Francisco.
Hope lots more librarians pick up on raising funds for more schools, possibly connecting it to student book clubs in addition to summer reading programs. It would be a good way to shine a light on the importance of books and libraries here and abroad.