This Wednesday was the first day of the second annual book sale, a fundraiser run by the Library Council. After over a month of collecting books from students, parents, and other SMUS community members, the organizers began their fundraising efforts for a school in South Africa.
The Little Elephant School is struggling to provide quality and affordable education for students from kindergarten to Grade 7. The school was the first multi-racial primary school in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, but as it has expanded to meet growing demand its funding has run low. The school even rents its classrooms from a high school. “We’re trying to fund bursaries and books,” explains student organizer Oliver Bild.
Much like SMUS, the Little Elephant School has a large number of bursary students, but since even the paying families are quite poor, the school has difficulty acquiring enough donations to run. By selling the donated books for one or two dollars, the students can raise a significant amount for the school.
“People have also been adding donations onto their purchases,” says Laura Miller of the Library Council. To promote the drive, the students put up posters asking for donations weeks in advance, then made a presentation in chapel to promote the sale itself.
“Because it is our second year doing it we have been more organized about it,” says Grade 12 student Emily Prager. “We’ve had huge support from the staff and students and lots of interest.” Last year, the drive raised funds for Free the Children; this is the first fundraising effort for the Little Elephant School.
“We’re starting smaller projects to help the school,” says Laura. The Library Council hopes to work with the other clubs and councils in the school on new initiatives to support the South African school as well as promote the cause of literacy.
“Our goal as Library Council is to help promote literature in the school, community and internationally,” says Emily.