Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Decade of Success at Navajo Pine

After a decade of working with Navajo Pine High School in Navajo, New Mexico, located on the eastern side of the Navajo Nation, we are pleased to report on the outstanding progress on building their library resources. Reader to Reader has donated over 13,000 books and 40 computers.

Navajo Pine has achieved the highest check out rate per student of any high school in the district.

“Navajo Pine has a check out per student of all schools, including elementary level that is above average,” reports Navajo Pine librarian Carla Clauschee. “This is very unusual for a high school library. All the numbers show that NPHS has a collection that is current and on topic for students' tastes. We also have the classics too. All this is thanks to you. Thanks David, you and your program really have helped create a great library.”

It has been our pleasure.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Books, Computers and 165,320 minutes of Reading!

We are pleased to have donated hundreds of books and 12 computers to Navajo Middle School in Navajo, New Mexico. They have been tracking the number of minutes their children have been reading and have far exceeded their goal of 90,000 minutes. This year’s total was 165,320 minutes! Congratulations!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Kayenta Library Extends Reach of Navajo Nation Library

A 2½ hour drive from Window Rock, Arizona, the recently opened branch library in the town of Kayenta gives greatly increased access to books to people living on the Navajo Nation in the northern part of Arizona. It is already popular with the 5,189 people in Kayenta and also draws readers from surrounding towns.
The library is overseen by the Navajo Nation Library and is housed in a converted mobile home. It has been stocked with 5,000 books, the majority of which were supplied by Reader to Reader.
There is still some room on the shelves, and we look forward to sending many more books this July in the latest phase of our ongoing Navajo Nation Library Book Drive.

A special congratulations to Navajo Nation Library director Irving Nelson for all his hard work in setting up the library.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Creating Hope, Sending Books to Thoreau

On our visit to the Navajo Nation, we stopped in the small town of Thoreau, New Mexico (pop, 1,650) to visit the new library at the Thoreau Community Center. The library was recently established by a Vista volunteer that is spending 2011-2012 there.

The community center was the brain child of a Juliana Ko, who moved to the small town to teach 8th grade math as part of a two-year service commitment. She spotted an abandoned building and went about securing it as a gathering place for local teens. A gathering place was desperately needed to combat the hopelessness that encouraged gang activity. Even worse, the town bore the weight of 15 teen suicides and 90 reported attempts.

Reader to Reader’s Kat Libby made copious notes on all that the library needs. Some of our work will be completing sets of books that are on the shelves. For example, they have only the second book I the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

We look forward to sending hundreds of books to bolster this small library. It’s small, but it’s so necessary, as it’s not the only access to books in the community, it’s all the access point for hope.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Gaining College Knowledge

Students at St. Michael Indian School in St. Michael Arizona watched the latest video produced through Reader to Reader's CollegeKnowledge partnership and then skyped with college students at Dartmouth College.

The students also held an in-person Q&A with Melissa Aybar, an Amherst College student that was visiting as a part of the Reader to Reader team.

CollegeKnowledge is a comprehensive college counseling program that provides disadvantaged Native American students with the best and most accurate information about all forms of higher education and access to experts in the field. The heart of the program are videos produced by Dartmouth College’s Native American Program in partnership with Reader to Reader. After watching each video, the students do college access activities and skype with the students in the Native American Program.

Only 65% of Native students receive a high school diploma. Worse, only 10% will earn a college degree. This is less than half the national average. In the fall of 2012, Reader to Reader will provide an on-site coordinator on the Navajo Nation to facilitate all programs related to the goal of boosting Native American college attendance and graduation.

Empowering Navajo youth through education will develop a new generation of strong leaders who will improve the condition of their people.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How They Have Grown!

Reader to Reader staff gave away books in classrooms at St. Michael Indian School in St. Michaels, Arizona during our visit to the Navajo Nation. The students had grown so much since our last visit in October!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Assessing Need on the Navajo Nation

Reader to Reader’s Director of Special Programs, Kat Libby, has spent her days this week doing a thorough assessment of the library at St. Michael Indian School in St. Michael, Arizona.

Over half the books in the library were donated by Reader to Reader and we look forward to donating over 1,500 more this coming July.

In addition, Reader to Reader has pledged 10 refurbished Dell computers to increase computer access at the school. The computers will be placed in the library and in classrooms. Among their uses will be for students participating in Reader to Reader’s online Navajo Mentoring Program and the CollegeKnowledge Program, a partnership between Reader to Reader and Dartmouth College.

Reader to Reader staff is spending ten days on the Navajo Nation in Arizona and New Mexico doing library needs assessments at a host of schools and libraries.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Navajo Pine Students Awarded Laptops

Two Navajo Pine High School students received new laptops at an awards ceremony held on May 14, 2012 at Navajo Pine High School in Navajo, New Mexico.

The new HP laptops were presented by officials from Reader to Reader, a Massachusetts nonprofit literacy organization, that funds a mentoring program for Navajo Nation students and this spring donated 15,000 new children’s books to public schools in the Gallup-McKinley County Public Schools District.

Reader to Reader executive director David Mazor flew in over the weekend and Monday presented sophomores Jeff Chen and Roderica Sandoval with their laptops in recognition as the top students in mentoring program this year.

“I am incredibly proud of the hard work these students put in all year long,” Mazor said. “They read quite a large number of books and it was easy to pick them as the top students because their work was outstanding.”

Both students plan to participate in the Navajo Mentoring Program again next year.

“I can’t think of a better way to get students talking about books, using technology, and developing higher order thinking skills than Reader to Reader online mentoring program,” Navajo Pine’s librarian Carla Clauschee said.

About Reader to Reader

Based on the campus of Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts, Reader to Reader, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that distributes books to schools and libraries in need. They have donated over 4 million books to schools and libraries across the United States and in 14 countries.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Progress in Kosovo

We recently received photos from Adi Matoshi on the progress of the Fisnik Matoshi Library in Pristina, Kosovo.

The project helps the Gjergj Fishta School create a library where students feel welcome and are inspired to read. The goal is to fill the library with books, and provide the students with computers and school supplies. A large amount of books and 8 computers were shipped to Kosovo last summer.

Monday, May 7, 2012

More Books for Ghana!

Bosovilla Presby Primary School in Oda, Ghana held a ceremony celebrating the arrival of the books donated by Reader to Reader. The school serves more than 600 children. Many of the children come from other far flung villages or farms in the area.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Every single one is precious!

Dear Mr. Mazor and the Reader to Reader Organization,

Thank you so much for the books that you donated to our school. There is such a lack of good books for children in our community that every single one is precious. As the school librarian, I am constantly striving to build our school collection, classroom collections and student collections at home. The books that your organization has donated are a help in this endeavor. Please know that your efforts are not wasted on our school community. We have a huge need for books and appreciate every new one that comes our way!


Cindi Tah
Juan de OƱate School
Gallup, NM