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For Immediate Release
December 15, 2008

For more information, contact
Janet Roy
(585) 395-2267

Foreign Language Club Collects Textbooks and Promotes Literacy

Press Release Photo Seniors Jaimie Harris, Ashley Skwirz and Christine Winter, with textbooks collected by the Foreign Language Club for the "Books for Africa" program.

Brockport, NY — A textbook drive held by The Foreign Language Club at The College at Brockport, State University of New York, is helping to promote literacy in the United States and abroad, while raising funds for its cultural programs.

During the last two weeks of each semester, the club holds its “Books for Africa” textbook drive, partnering with Better World Books (South Bend, IN). The club collects used textbooks from College at Brockport students, which are redistributed to students in Africa. For each qualifying book, the club earns $.50 to use for cultural activities such as foreign films, dinners, dances, and lectures.

The club has held the fundraiser each semester for the last several years, said Christine Winter, president of the Foreign Language Club. In spring 2008, they raised $174, and the club has collected more than $200 this semester.

“Holding this fundraiser each year is rewarding,” said the senior communication major. “It’s a great way to make good use of the books Brockport students cannot use anymore. We can pass them on to others to be used again and reduce waste at the same time.”

Brockport Student Government (BSG) and Barnes & Noble College Bookstore assist the club by storing boxes, and Barnes & Noble ships the boxes for the club. “Barnes & Noble Manager Wendy Fritz and BSG Office Administrator Rebecca Bird really stepped up to help with this effort,” said Winter.

In addition to the “Books for Africa” fundraiser, the Foreign Language Club also held a raffle this semester, which raised $150 for Santa María Tzeja Middle School in Guatemala. Brockport alumnus Randall Shea ’84, program coordinator at the school, works to raise awareness regarding sustainable development and uses theater groups as a means of addressing relevant social issues. The club plans to hold another event to benefit the school during the spring 2009 semester.

“Projects such as this not only benefit the school in Guatemala, but increase awareness of our club with students and the entire College community,” added senior Ashley Skwirz, secretary of the club.

Better World Books was founded to reduce poverty by increasing literacy. The company partners with students and college bookstores to hold textbook drives, giving new life to old books that might have otherwise been thrown away. Better World Books pays groups for qualifying books that are then distributed to one of five literacy-focused non-profits: Books for Africa (Sub-Saharan Africa), National Center for Family Literacy (United States), Room to Read (South Asia and Africa), World Education & Development Fund (Latin America) and Invisible Children (northern Uganda). As of September 2008, Better World Books has contributed more than $1 million to campus organizations that have run book drives. Read more about Better World Books.


The College at Brockport, State University of New York
350 New Campus Drive * Brockport, New York 14420-2931
(585) 395-2754 * FAX (585) 395-2723 *

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