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Who We Are

Who We AreThe Books & Beyond project is a collaborative service-learning project that connects the Kabwende Primary School (Kinigi, Rwanda), Indiana University’s Global Village Living-Learning Center (Bloomington, Indiana, USA), and TEAM Schools (Newark, New Jersey, USA).

Residents at the Indiana University Global Village Living-Learning Center have a passion for languages, cultures, and travel or study abroad.  As participants in Books & Beyond, GVers serve as writing partners, editors, documenters, evaluators, pen pals, and fundraisers.  On average, forty-five Global Villagers participate in Books & Beyond project each year.

The Kabwende Primary School ,
located in the Musanze Province of Rwanda, serves 2000 students in grades 1-6.  The Rwandan government recently mandated that all classroom instruction must be in English (formerly teachers had the option of using French or Ikinyarwanda).  Without training, teachers are struggling to learn English and teach their students in a new language.  Kabwende students in grade 5 and 6 co-author and illustrate stories for Books & Beyond.

TEAM Charter Schools is located in Newark, New Jersey, and serves middle and high school students.  The mission of TEAM Schools is for every student to go to college.  In Newark, only 20% of the residents have some college education.  TEAM Schools’ students are 96% African American and 4% Hispanic; they attend school from 7:25 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and four hours on Saturdays.  TEAM Schools’ students are participating in the Books & Beyond project as authors, illustrators, and fundraisers.