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 initiative 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 students are the main participants and beneficiaries as they work together to create excellent reading material at a low cost. As its core objective, Books & Beyond seeks to develop globally-minded students by improving critical literacy skills and developing models for cross-cultural teaching and learning.
- Addressing Rwanda’s book famine is an essential part of our mission. Our anthology, The World Is Our Home, is a yearly collection of stories written by students in Rwanda and the United States. It is distributed to students in Rwanda.
- Construction of the first library at the Kabwende Primary School has begun. The official opening of the library is scheduled for summer 2017.
- 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 elementary schools with a college student mentor from Indiana University. This partnership facilitates the writing process and encourages students to pursue higher education.
- 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.
- Collecting donations and supplies for the children at Kabwende Primary School is an important part of our effort. We have collected donations of books, crayons, soccer balls, and other supplies.