Sunday, January 17, 2010

Today from the ALA Midwinter Conference - Ethiopia Reads 1/17/2010

ALA President's Program Sunday January 17, 2010 
featuring Dr. Yohannes Gebregeorgis
Literacy in Ethiopia             

I attended the most inspirational lecture today at ALA Midwinter with Dr. Yohannes Gebregeorgis from Ethiopia.

Dr. Gebregeorgis founded Ethiopia Reads that is a program to bring literacy to Ethiopia. Instead of book mobiles that we so enjoy in the United States, he started donkey mobiles to transport books for children to read. The literacy rate is so very low in Ethiopia and he is working to change those numbers with his one dollar one book campaign! At one point, he and his family lived on the second floor of his house in Ethiopia and housed a library for thousands of students on the first floor of his home. Here is a quote from a new story that I want to share with you, "In 2002, with is two young sons and 15,000 books, he left behind the comforts of his adopted land (San Franciso in the United States)... He rented a house in Addis Ababa, lived upstairs and turned the downstairs into the Shola Children's Library, naming it for the fig tree, a traditional gathering place for Ethiopians. The first year alone, he brought books into the lives of 12,000 children... Over the years that number would grow to 100,000. He would create libraries in schools that never had them. He would take a donkey cart laden with books into the hinterlands, inspiring and dazzling children with the power of literacy. He became known by different names - Donkey Librarian, Book Man of Africa and Slayer of the Dragon of Illiteracy."

 Ethiopia Reads US Headquarters is located in Denver, Colorado. You can reach Dr. Yohannes Gebregeorgis, Founder and Executive Director of Ethiopia Reads at:

Building literacy from the cradle to the grave is very near and dear to my heart, so I recommend that you take a look at the links below to learn more about Ethiopia Reads and help if you can. I plan to donate some of the books from my children's library and look into volunteering for a week to help children read in Ethiopia in the very near future.

Here are links to read more about the wonderful literacy program Ethiopia Reads.

Ethiopia Reads Web Site

Yohannes Gebregeorgis, a native of Ethiopia and children’s literacy advocate, was named a Top 10 Hero of the Year by CNN in 2008.

Watch CNN’s profile of Gebregeorgis on HappyNews:


Jane Kurz Ethiopia Reads

The Inauguration Celebration Continues: Ethiopia Reads Launches Three New Donkey Mobile Libraries!

Happy Reading!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Until the next time!

A children's book a day, keeps the scary monster away!

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