The bookmobile (my car) hit the road again yesterday. Got up early for my drive to the local FedEx office where I’m very well known from all the shipping I do there. The car was loaded the night before with all the books I’ve been collecting from friends, library sales, and thrift stores over the last month. The grandkids are coming to visit this week so needed to make room for them. This load of books is headed for the Kennedy Center in Wanblee SD.
The school year is coming to an end within the next 2 weeks and children will not have access to the school library which is closed during the summer months. The Crazy Horse school library has very few books for the various age groups so books are sorely needed there too. Children at Crazy Horse (a tribal school) only go to school for 3 1/2 days a week, reason being not enough qualified teachers so they spend a lot less time in school than our kids. The tribe is hiring new staff for next year so hopefully the school week will extend. The school is supposed to have kids K-12 attending but sadly it’s rare to find a teen there, most have either dropped out or attend the public school about 30 miles away. There are about 350 elementary students attending Crazy Horse, the other 100 area children are bused to Kadoka public school.
Books are not easy to come by on the rez so unless people like you or I send them they do without. Children need to maintain their reading skills over the summer so “no child is left behind”. I’ve sent many books to Oglala Lakota College over the last 5 years for their summer “Build Your Own Library” reading program. They visit different districts on the rez every two weeks and children who are in attendance are allowed a maximum of 5 books each visit if the supplies hold. Currently there’s a push to teach children their native Lakota language and they’re providing some bilingual books in the school.
If books are available reading programs can be implemented and sponsored by the Kennedy Hall programs. Children who normally would not be reading at home will have the opportunity to read or have someone read to them.
With a population of 1250 and about 450-500 kids in the district, the Kennedy Hall needs lots of books. Ask your school or local libraries if they’re replacing books and would like to donate the old ones. Books at Goodwill and Salvation Army are usually less than 50 cents and by buying there you support two programs. Also ask friends, family members, co-workers, church members, teachers who might be retiring, kids groups looking for a worthwhile project to participate in for the summer or visit garage sales and bargain for the cause. All we ask is that the books are in good condition with no graffiti, missing pages or loose bindings. Books can be sent through USPS at the media rate or Fedex/UPS. Check the best deal through shipgooder.com, a website that estimates shipping costs.
Please help Sew For Kids give the gift of reading by sending your books here . We’re targeting the 0-15 age group but certainly the elders would love a good read too. Thanks from Sew For Kids and the children of Wanblee.