Rotary Clubs Support Books For The World Project

Fulton Rotarians Steve Osborne, Tom Albegore, Lori Greeney with her son Ryan, Len Ellis, Nancy Ellis and Jerry Seguin have just finished packing two pallets of discarded school books to be shipped to Third World Countries.

Steve Osborne, Tom Albegore, Lori Greeney (with son Ryan), Len Ellis, Nancy Ellis and Jerry Seguin. Photo by Richard Kemmis
Steve Osborne, Tom Albegore, Lori Greeney (with son Ryan), Len Ellis, Nancy Ellis and Jerry Seguin. Photo by Richard Kemmis

All of the Rotary clubs in Oswego County, Oswego Noon, Oswego Sunrise, Fulton Noon and Fulton Sunrise have participated in the Central New York Books For The World project.


In 2001 several Texas Rotary districts undertook a project to collect books and ship them to where they were needed.

This project touches the great need for English literacy in Southern Africa and other Third World Countries that teach English in their schools.

The project started from a few Rotary districts to Rotary District 9300 in South Africa and now has spread across the USA and throughout Southern Africa.

Central New York Rotary Clubs in District 7150 have been participating in “Books For The World” for more than seven years now.

Why is there such a need for books?

The governments of Southern Africa can not yet underwrite the costs of all the books needed for the rapidly growing public and private school systems.

Many countries in Africa do not offer public education to all their youth.

Poverty rules in these countries.

Without educating their youth, they will not be able to grow a work force that can feed their people and poverty will continue to rule.

Where poverty rules hate also rules.

The Rotary clubs in the USA and South Africa are addressing the needs of the impoverished schools and libraries for books and other educational materials which assist both our literacy and peace initiatives.

We often think in the context of our lives in the USA and assume that everyone else is living as we do.

Imagine trying to teach without any books for yourself or your students.

Rotary District 9300 personnel have actually been asked to cut books in half so that two students could have something to read.

Rotary’s response has been to supply a complete book to every child.

In the USA, many schools shred a book when it is out of adoption or discard them in a landfill.

These books can be obtained without charge from educational institutions, libraries, and private collections.

By participating in this program your Rotary Club can make a difference for your schools by relieving their book storage, transportation, and destruction costs.

In Oswego County, text books no longer used by the schools have been packed and shipped by the Rotary clubs in Oswego and Fulton.

The clubs raise the money, $200 per pallet, to pay for boxes and shipping by truck to a port in Texas.

The pallets are loaded in containers, (another cost item of about $6,000) placed on ships and sent to the receiving Rotary clubs in South Africa and other countries that need the school books.

Some of the pallets also hold windows and doors besides books.

Holes are cut in the containers and the windows and doors are welded in place.

They then become a library or classroom in a community in Africa.

Fulton and Oswego City school districts and Hannibal Central Schools have participated in Books For The World projects in recent years.

The Rotary clubs in Oswego County welcome information on when and where usable used books are available and any financial help to pack and ship them.

Contact Richard Kemmis at 592-4486 for more information.