Twenty-seven students in James Wilson’s Introduction of African History class at Wake Forest University are helping put books on the shelves of rural libraries in Africa with a fundraising event on Nov. 20.
The students will host a talent showcase featuring student performing groups, including the step club XPRESS and the Wake Forest Gospel Choir. Four student a cappella groups – Chi Rho, Unified Rhythms, Demon Divas and SOUL – will perform at the 5 p.m. outdoor event on Magnolia Courtyard.
The cost for the concert is $5. All money raised will go to the World Library Partnership, an organization that builds rural libraries and provides books for schools in western South Africa.
As part of the service-learning project, the students will also write their own 10-15 page books for elementary school students in South Africa. The books will explore such themes as making friends, standing up for a belief, the importance of listening skills, failing and getting up again, and changing perceptions. The homemade books will also be sent to South Africa.
About half of the students will travel to South Africa in May to help with the distribution of the books purchased with the funds raised at the concert. They will also work with the World Library Partnership staff to train people how to run and use their libraries independently.
Many rural libraries have no budget for new materials, said Wilson, assistant professor of history at Wake Forest. Many books are donated from abroad, but they need funds to buy the books that are most appropriate for their local communities, he said. Wilson was a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya.
For information about the Nov. 20 concert or about the project, call 336-758-4318.
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