What We Do
Books & Beyond is a student-led project with two main aims: to provide high-quality reading material for school children in Rwanda, a country that is experiencing a “book famine,” and to foster critical thinking skills as students author, illustrate, publish, and market an annual cross-cultural anthology of children’s stories.
This outstanding project engages youth in an innovative project of their own design that helps them reach beyond international and cultural boundaries to meet each other’s needs. The student participants are the main participants and beneficiaries as they work together to create excellent reading material at a low cost. Students are involved in the Books & Beyond project as mentors, authors, collaborators, documenters, fundraisers, project evaluators, and pen pals.
- The World is Our Home anthology uses mentoring to teach skills in authoring, illustrating, editing, publishing, and marketing in order to produce a yearly collection of stories written by students in Rwanda and the United States.
- Teacher Development Training provides curriculum training for teachers at the Kabwende Primary School to use The World is Our Home anthology as a textbook to foster critical literacy in the classroom.
- College-Life Mentoring matches students at TEAM Schools with a college student mentor from Indiana University. The mentors work with students to facilitate the writing process and encourage students to pursue higher education.
- Pen Pal program matches Indiana University students with teachers at the Kabwende Primary School in a cross-cultural writing exchange.
- International cross-cultural student exchange brings students from the U.S. and Rwanda to visit each other and share their cultures.
- Professional Skill Building teaches skills in grant writing, fundraising, video documenting, and interviewing.