Friday, March 3, 2017

Reader to Reader Computer Lab is up and Running in Nigeria

The latest Reader to Reader computer lab is up and running in Idah Kogi State, Nigeria.

“We are highly thrilled by your massive support. You have enhanced our computer-based learning and thus acquainted us with lots of computer works/ In fact, your kind gesture will continue to keep our hopes alive for a better learning and future.  –Rev. Fr. Anthony Ojoka Ojotule
About the Computer Donation Program

Reader to Reader's Computer Donation Program donates new and refurbished computers, tablet computers, and e-readers. Computer labs have been built in the Navajo Nation, Hopi Nation, Massachusetts, New York, Ghana, Kosovo, Nigeria, and Trinidad & Tobago.

In addition, computers have been donated to projects in Bolivia, The Bahamas, Costa Rica, Kenya, Nepal, Nicaragua, and other states and countries.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Exploring College

Students from the Young Parents Program (YPP) in Springfield, MA joined us on campus for a tour of the Amherst College campus, a visit to the Beneski Museum of Natural History, and lots of discussion of books and college. YPP is an alternative education program that helps young parents achieve their high school equivalency and begin planning for their next steps.

A special thank you to Amherst's Office of Admissions for helping us make them feel so welcome!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Books for the San Carlos Apache Reservation

We are excited to help build two school libraries on the San Carlos Apache Reservation in San Carlos, Arizona.

This winter and spring we are shipping hundreds of new books for grades K-12, and this will be an ongoing project that we will be working on for years to come, as greatly expand their access to books.

"Thank you, Reader to Reader, you have always been a great help for the Native Americans."

Donna M. Manuelito, M.Ed
San Carlos Unified School District
Assistant Superintendent of Academic Excellence-PD, Curriculum and Technology

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Thank You for the IMacs and Books!

Dear Reader to Reader,

Thank you for the amazing donations to ArteSana's ESOL program this fall!

The iMac desktops are like new and have made a world of difference for our students, allowing them to accelerate and deepen their language learning.

Meanwhile, the book donations have brought so much to us as well. Everyone loves choosing books for their little ones! Having the books actually inspired some the moms to bring in books from their homes they no longer used, to share them with the other families.  It’s a classic ripple effect, started by your organization’s generous donations!

Thank you so much for your awesome work in the world!

Katy Moonan
Executive Director
Holyoke, MA

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Books for Children of AIDS Patients

We are delighted to once again donate books as holiday gifts for children of AIDS patients at Bay State Health. 

Pictured is Kristen Benjamin, a RN working with HIV/AIDS patients in Springfield, Massachusetts. We worked with Kristen to match up a book specifically for each child.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

More books are Heading to Bolivia!

More Spanish-language books are on their way to Arani, Bolivia.

The donation is part of Reader to Reader’s partnership with the KUSIKUY, a social enterprise business that is working to retail the alpaca fiber clothing crafted by the village’s knitters.

As part of the partnership, Reader to Reader is donating computers, Spanish-language children’s books, and a  collection of business marketing books that have been requested in order to help support the educational needs of local entrepreneurs.

At an altitude of 9,400 feet, the village of Arani is located in the center of Bolivia, and has a population of  3,512.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Editorial: Reader to Reader Exports Hope with Books

Thursday, November 10, 2016
Daily Hampshire Gazette

Page by page, an Amherst nonprofit continues to fight educational inequality by shipping free books to disadvantaged communities.

But there is more to Reader to Reader than tons of paper. This novel program, founded by David Mazor more than a decade ago, exports hope.

Yes, hope, that thing with feathers, as Emily Dickinson once ventured. “That perches in the soul - / And sings the tune without the words - / And never stops - at all -”

While best known for its book donations, Reader to Reader works to advance literacy – and the economic hope literacy ignites – in impoverished communities beyond this country’s borders.

Mazor’s program also serves as a lifeline to intrepid students from the Five Colleges inspired to design and launch their own global literacy projects.

Books remain the coin of the realm. Starting late last month, Reader to Reader made its latest book donation to schools in Native American communities in the Southwest — one of its oldest efforts.

Schools in New Mexico and Arizona are receiving more than 52,000 books worth half a million dollars. The program’s simple goal is to get books into the hands of children in underfunded schools, believing that reading lights fires of curiosity that, once kindled, cannot be extinguished.

As Reader to Reader has grown, new corporate relationships enable it to get many more books into schools like the Gallup-McKinley County Public Schools in Gallup, New Mexico, and the Central Consolidated Schools in Shiprock, New Mexico. Both are receiving books in the latest shipment, along with the Ganado Unified School District in Ganado, Arizona, the Hopi School District in Keams Canyon, Arizona, and the Tuba City Unified School District in Tuba City, Arizona.

The program crossed the 50,000-volume mark on this donation thanks in part to its ties to the Scholastic Corp., Pioneer Valley Press, Soho Press and other publishers.

A library staffer in the Gallup-McKinley schools, which are getting 14,000 books, says the program’s impact on students will be “profound.”

Separately, more than 21,000 volumes are headed to the Navajo Nation Library in Window Rock, Arizona. Reader to Reader is also shipping books to a Native American community that’s been in the news – the Standing Rock Reservation, whose members are fighting a pipeline project and reached out to the Amherst program for help to improve the library at a South Dakota campus of Sitting Bull College.

Not surprisingly, there’s been mission creep in the Reader to Reader ranks for years. Students from local colleges continue to serve as tutors and reading mentors. Many do that here in the Valley, as several did with the Summer of Power program for five weeks this year in Holyoke by helping students improve their English language skills. The program says 200 Five Colleges students, working in Massachusetts and New Mexico, are mentoring 1,400 low-income young readers.

Further afield, Reader to Reader continues to assist efforts, sometimes through its Springboard Program, to advance literacy in places like Managua, Nicaragua, Arani, Bolivia, and Santa Cruz, Costa Rica. The Springboard Program helps college students do global good.

They include the four students from Amherst College who’ve been improving a three-room public library in the village of Santa Cruz.

Reader to Reader does seem like “the thing that never stops,” as Dickinson wrote.

In that same poem, she said of hope: “I’ve heard it in the chillest land - / And on the strangest Sea - / Yet - never - in Extremity, / It asked a crumb - of me.”

For information on how to support Reader to Reader’s efforts, and perhaps provide some financial crumbs, visit