decorative image of UgandanBookDrive_900 , Auto Draft 2019-11-21 14:31:11 Published: 11-21-2019

By Mary Mabins, Pensacola State College

“That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.” — “The Namesake” by Jhumpa Lahiri

Robinson Honors Program Scholars recently gifted the world to students at the Pajwenda Primary School in Uganda.

For its 2019 service project, Pensacola State College’s Robinson Honors Program collected 1,326 books and raised $537 to cover the shipping costs to create a library for the preschoolers through fourth-graders at Pajwenda Primary School. Along with accepting donations of cash and books, the Scholars held several different fundraisers between Oct. 14 and Nov. 12.

“We partnered with the African Library Project, and with the help of the Pensacola State College community, we exceeded our goal,” said Amber Carey, the Robinson Honors Program director. The project’s initial goal was 1,000 books and $500 to cover the shipping fees.

The African Library Project changes lives by starting libraries in rural Africa. The grassroots approach mobilizes U.S. volunteers to organize book drives and ship books to start or improve a library in Africa.

“I want to say thank you to everyone who helped us reach our goal,” Carey said. “There were so many of you who contributed money, purchased baked goods, donated books, and transported books from other campuses. Your support made a huge difference.”

Carey said the Robinson Honors Program Scholars poured their hearts in to the service project, and were thrilled to see it come to fruition.

“I must give a special shout out to some people and organizations ─ the African-American Student Association, the PSC Rotaract Club, Jen Ehrhardt and her ‘Sisters on the Fly,’ assistant professor Brian Underwood, the faculty and staff at the South Santa Rosa and Milton campuses, Mike Lane and the Friends of the West Florida Public Libraries, professor Darlene Moseley and many, many more! I can´t thank you all enough,” Carey added.

Carey said getting the books to the school will be a long process but she will keep the Pensacola Family updated on the progress.