Wednesday, November 2, 2016

$500,000 in New Books to Native American Schools

(Photo: Lincoln Elementary students in Gallup, New Mexico get new books on Halloween)

Staff Writer/Daily Hampshire Gazette
Tuesday, November 01, 2016

AMHERST — Children of Navajo Nation and Hope Nation who attend schools in New Mexico and Arizona are receiving $500,000 worth of new books following a donation from an Amherst-based literacy organization.

A total of 52,126 books are being shipped directly to the various school districts in the Southwest for distribution, said David Mazor, founder and executive director of Reader of Reader.

“We are pleased to make this large donation in order to get as many books into the hands of children,” Mazor said.

The books, which are of general interest for students in kindergarten through 12th grade, are provided through Reader to Reader’s partnerships with Scholastic Corporation, which runs the Scholastic Possible Fund, and Pioneer Valley Press, Soho Press and other publishers.

Among the school systems receiving the books are the Gallup-McKinley County Public Schools in Gallup, New Mexico, the Central Consolidated Schools in Shiprock, New Mexico, 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.

Providing books for Native American schools represents a long-term commitment that has been taking place since 2005, Mazor said. In the past decade, Reader to Reader has donated more than $3 million in books.

The Gallup-McKinley schools will get 14,000 books, which are already being given out to students, including at Lincoln Elementary in Gallup.

“These books will have a profound impact on the children in our district,” Mary Lindenmeyer, library media coordinator for the schools, said in a statement.

In addition, the Navajo Nation Library in Window Rock, Arizona will receive over 21,000 books.

Reader to Reader also donates books to the Red Lake Nation in Minnesota and the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota, and this week began working with the Standing Rock Reservation after its members asked for help in stocking books in the library of the McLaughlin, South Dakota campus of Sitting Bull College.

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