June 10, 2011
The McGeorge chapter of a national honor society collected more than 1,500 donated books in the final weeks of the spring semester to outfit two libraries as part of the nationwide African Book Project whose mission is to improve literacy rates in that continent.
"We were able to ship 1546 books to Ghana and make an additional $150 donation to the project," said Shields Inn President Danielle Diebert, '12, who was the driving force behind the fraternity's spring philanthropic program. The McGeorge chapter was partnered with S.D.A. Primary School Library in Wenchi, Ghana, which now has a complete library, and Goaso's Fawohoyeden Community Library that is now more than halfway toward its goal of 1,000 books.
The African Library Project, which was founded in 2005, is a grassroots effort that mobilizes American volunteers, young and old, to organize book drives and ship books to a partner library in Africa. It has helped establish more than 600 libraries in African countries such as Zimbabwe, Zambia, Cameroon, Lesotho, Nigeria, Botswana, Swaziland and Malawi.
Under Diebert's leadership at McGeorge, many Phi Delta Phi members contributed to the book drive's success. Andrea Moon, Alison Dinmore, Angela Baldwin, Keith Banks, Rebecca Kramer, and Rebecca Tatum staffed Student Center tables, collecting books and money for shipping costs. Alison Dinmore, Ashlynn McCarthy, Larry Phan, Tori Sundheim and Tatum played key roles in collecting children's books from a number of sources. Kristin Weigle, Colin Roberts, Olena Likhachova, and Andre Barakat boxed all the books, and Dinmore helped label boxes. Tristan Brown, Ashley Porter, Mark Narveson, David Snapp, Kim Bowman, Nadia Mahallati, Ashley Bonnett, Nareshwar Birdi, Lindsay Sanders, Barakat, Moon and Tatum donated money for shipping costs.
"We thank everyone in the McGeorge community who contributed to the book drive's success," said Diebert. "Every book that each of you donated will thrill some child in Africa."