I got an email from a fellow U.P. Law alumnus asking if I would share this project with my readers. You know how allergic I am to people asking for free advertising but this is something I would have gladly and voluntarily advertised if I had come across it before anyone contacted me about it.
My first thought was how I regret donating my girls’ old books to the high school they attended. Boxes and boxes of books. There are other children who need them more. Back then, it did cross my mind to donate the books to public libraries but corruption being endemic in public institutions, I was afraid that the books would not find their way to the book shelves for everyone to enjoy but, instead, end up in second hand book stores with some government employee pocketing the sale price.
Well, I can’t re-donate books that are no longer in my possession but I can help in a project geared toward giving children access to books that their parents cannot afford to buy for them.
Books? Why books? First, I believe that when the mind is stimulated, a person’s creativity becomes boundless.
Second, I love the idea of learning without teachers and outside the “walls” of educational institutions. Traditional education is what it is — traditional — but it is not what will define us in life.
Third, in an era of diploma mills where traditional education is no longer synonymous with learning and skills-training (the stats in the video about children learning to read without learning how to comprehend is something I have witnessed even among college graduates), alternative modes and venues for self-learning must be encouraged and enhanced.
Reading is learning. Learning helps us think. Thinking makes possible ideas that can change the world.
But hasn’t it been proven that book-reading is a middle class and upper-middle class activity? Isn’t it true that children from poor families don’t have time for such grandiose past times because, in many cases, they have to spend their free time earning money to help support the family?
Perhaps. But if out of every hundred children, one does decide to pick up a book and read, then, to my mind, the project is already a success because one child out of every hundred can help change the future.