Words from our President, Mike Thrasher
When our first library was completed, we did not realize the impact it would have on the children at Lulwanda Children’s Home until the following year.
Jimmy, the Head Teacher, requested Mike’s presence in his office to discuss two young boys who were sent to his office for disciplinary purposes. Seeking counsel from Mike, Jimmy shared with Mike the two boys had not been behaving in class. The teacher requested the students to stop “tinkering” around with stuff in their desk and pay attention to the lesson. Every opportunity the boys had to go back to their “project”, they did. The teacher soon became frustrated with the boys inattentiveness to the lesson and sent them to the Head Teacher’s Office.
Mr. Jimmy inquired of the boys about their misbehavior. The boys looked at each other and replied, “We were just making something.” To them, they had an idea, they wanted to design this “something”. The head teacher continued to inquisition to gain more facts and to determine why the boys were not engaged in the lesson but were insistent on working in secret on the project. He asked the boys to show him the items they had in their pockets and to describe what they were making. The pockets were emptied and wires, a AA battery, and a small light bulb were pulled out.
By now, Mr. Jimmy was growing frustrated with the lack of information the boys were providing and he knew the classroom teacher wanted the boys to be punished for their inattentiveness. Finally, Mr. Jimmy asked the boys, “What exactly are you trying to make and how did you know how to make this “thing!”?
The boys looked at each other and replied, “We saw it in this book in the library!”
Confused and a little bit curious, he asked the boys to go to the library and bring him the book. Upon their return, the boys brought a book about science experiments you can do in the classroom. Mr. Jimmy glanced at the page and discovered the boys were trying to create a simple circuit using the wires, the battery, and the light bulb! Now, he was in a difficult position. How do I punish the boys for not paying attention in class when they were actually learning and teaching themselves something?” This was the conversation he had with Mike Thrasher, founder of Books are the Beginning.
After Mr. Jimmy and Mike discussed the situation, both agreed the boys should have both a consequence for the lack of attentiveness in class and disrespect to the teacher, and an acknowledgement of exploring electrical circuits so that they curiosity would continue to grow.
This is just one story of many stories we have heard from Uganda. Books that were no longer wanted or needed here in the US are now serving as a catalyst for learning and creativity.
Thank you for helping us empower students and teachers in impoverished areas of the world.
Tuesday, December 2 is Giving Tuesday, a special call to action that creates a national day of giving around the annual shopping and spending season to inspire giving every day. Giving Tuesday proves that the holidays can be about giving and giving back. It celebrates how Americans can do more with their wallets than just shop – and that we can give as good as we get. On Tuesday, December 2, will you join us in spreading the gift of books to children in impoverished areas of the world. Go to our donor page, https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/booksarethebeginning or go to our webpage, www.booksarethebeginning.org and choose the Donate button. For every $25 given on this day, Network for Good our donor partner, will match with $1. Consider giving the money you saved on Black Friday and Cyber Monday to Books are the Beginning.