A Message From the Desk of Lauren Caldarera

Dear Friends of the Books & Beyond project,

A little over a week ago the Books & Beyond delegation returned from an amazing trip to Rwanda.  This year’s delegation consisted of four Indiana University students, two TEAM Academy middle school students, TEAM Academy teacher Ali Nagle and myself.   The delegation delivered 2000 copies of The World is Our Home: Volume III to the teachers and students at the Kabwende Primary School but we also did a lot more. Here are some of the highlights from our visit.

  • Indiana University and TEAM Schools students led English conversation circles with the students at Kabwende Primary School.   Rwandan and US students asked questions of each other and exchanged information about culture, families, hobbies, and education.
  • Ali Nagle led a curriculum workshop with the P4, P5, P6 grade teachers to discuss ideas for using The World is Our Home: Volume III  in their lessons. The World is Our Home: Volume III curriculum was designed by Indiana University School of Education professor Beth Samuelson.
  • IU senior, Caitlin Ryan led a community dialogue with students, parents, and teachers at Kabwende Primary School to discuss ways to improve the project in Rwanda.  The dialogue resulted in developing a fundraising plan for Kabwende Primary School.   Soon, the Kabwende students will begin growing potatoes that can be sold in the local market and making small crafts that can be sold in the US to raise funds for project.
  • IU alum Madelyn Kissel and sophomore Chelsea Skovran led a computer training for the teachers. Unfortunately, due to poor internet connectivity at the school, the training was cut short.
  • TEAM Schools students Kiara Pettiway and Jordyn Marlin facilitated the brainstorming session for the Kabwende student authors. Next year’s theme for the anthology will be “hopes and dreams.”
  • The delegation visited four teachers houses, met with a PeaceCorps Volunteer, visited the Kapanga Secondary School and PREFER Preschool, and met with representatives from USAID and International Education Exchange to learn about the respective organizations and discuss  literacy efforts taking place in Rwanda.
  • We also toured the country visiting Lake Kivu, Nyungwe National Forrest,  the National University of Rwanda, Gisoze Genocide Memorial, Nyanza Ruakri Ancient History Museum, Nyanza Art Museum, and the Butare National Museum of Rwanda.

Since 2008,  Books & Beyond has delivered over 6000 books to the teachers and students at Kabwende Primary School, engaged 60 Rwandan students in authoring stories,  raised over $20,000 each year to cover printing, shipping, and travel costs, and developed meaningful leadership and service opportunities for over 150 Indiana University Global Villagers and 50 TEAM Schools students.

You can read more about the Books & Beyond visit to Rwanda on our blog (https://booksnbeyond.wordpress.com/) and view pictures at Shutterfly (http://booksnbeyond.shutterfly.com/).

Thank you so much for your ongoing support of the Books & Beyond project!

Lauren

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