Posts Tagged ‘Trees for Life’

Books for Kaloleni Primary School in Kenya

July 31, 2013

Jaine Kamau wrote to Books for Life, an educational branch of Trees for Life, telling that her Rotary Club in Nakuru, Kenya wanted to start a mobile library service for the families in her community. Two boxes were sent to the school and community to increase the number of books for the mobile library.


Children of the Kaloleni Primary School, Kenya,
holding books sent from Books for Life.


Jaine Kamau standing in front of the
Kaloleni Primary School, Kenya.


Jaine Kamau with one of the teachers of
Kaloleni Primary School, Kenya

Jaine says, “We hope for a long partnership with you.”

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Books Reach Austistic Children in Kenya

May 23, 2013

Box of books to autistic children in Kenya

The photo above shows a tree planting by the youth
in appreciation for the Books for Life received.

A request came from Kenya in March of 2013 for books from Books for Life. James Karanja, who has a Special Ed degree from Maseno University and a Certificate in Autism, is working with 20 children and young adults on the autism spectrum from poor families in Nairobi. Working with kids with special needs has always been James’ passion since he was in high school. He was a pioneer teacher of the Autism Unit in a Nairobi school.

In 2011 James started an organization that could make a positive impact on the lives of those on the autism spectrum and help them achieve beyond their disability. He teamed up with Sara Jamal and some parents of kids with autism to found Autism Support Center-Kenya. James greatest inspiration comes from playing, laughing, dancing, learning and simply being in the company of kids with autism.

James is also involving kids in growing tree seedlings that are later adopted by the community to promote environmental conservation and raise funds for the group. The youth planted two trees in appreciation of the books and buttons we sent to them! We wish them “happy learning” with their box of books!

Help Books for Life and Trees for Life with a hand up to people worldwide wanting a life of hope through education.


A Library? What is a Library?

March 13, 2013

Jeanne Smith has been a long-time supporter and volunteer of Trees for Life. She and her husband, Herb, have been to Ethiopia many times to share their love of education. Here’s an excerpt she wrote about the importance of education through teaching materials that were donated to Ethiopia Reads by way of  Books for Life – an educational branch of Trees for Life.

Ethiopian boys in a library

Ethiopian youth enjoy a folktale of Ethiopia in the
very first free  library in Addis-Ababa

A Library? What Is A Library?

by Jeanne Jacoby Smith

I was excited to learn that Books for Life is collaborating with Ethiopia Reads to send instructional materials for teachers to use with children in their new school libraries. It jogged my memory about a conversation that LeAnn Clark, a volunteer with Ethiopia Reads, overheard there recently:

A child:           “Come! See a ‘library’!”

Her friend:      “What is a ‘library’?”

Libraries are treasures for poor children in Ethiopia. Their schools, assuming they attend one, have no books. Most girls and boys have never held a book in their hands. Children learn by reciting after the teacher.

In 2005, Herb and I traveled to Ethiopia to visit the first free children’s library in the country. When all its seats were filled, the large iron gates  to the compound clanged shut. Many children remained outside, disappointed.

The most heartbreaking scenes I witnessed on my trips to Ethiopia have been young children by the roadside begging for a living. The greatest gift we can offer them is access to knowledge through free libraries and education. Literacy has tremendous power to catapult the poor into a promising future. I commend both Books for Life and Ethiopia Reads for their foresight and compassion.


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Donations of carpet and books continue to give

October 12, 2012

In the process of doing Spring cleaning three of our volunteers have been finding homes for items no longer needed at Trees for Life. Rafael Jimenez of Wichita, KS, saw online we had carpet squares to give away and came to pick them up. He will  take them to Matamoros, Mexico for a children’s room in a church so they  won’t have to sit on concrete during their studies.

We also had brand new and gently used Spanish and bilingual children’s books provided by generous donors throughout the state of Kansas to send with him. Rafael and his church, First Christian Church of Haysville, KS, have provided support in Matamoros through many trips to take supplies and provide encouragement and hope

Men and carpet squares going to Mexico

From the left: Ron Van Sickle, Rafael Jimenez and
Bob Hayes loading carpet squares

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Dodge City Bookcase Project

February 15, 2012

Books for Life is about bringing books to children around the globe to instill the joy of reading. That includes places in the USA when we are able to network with other organizations such as the Dodge City Bookcase Project.

David and Sheila Grayson and Trees for LIfe Family

Above is a photo of David and Sheila Grayson of Dodge City, KS and the staff at Trees for Life in Wichita, KS.  The Graysons founded the organization called the Dodge City Bookcase Project. The Graysons facilitate the making of bookcases for children in need. The children are given a starter bag of books and a hand-made wooden bookcase with a plaque that has the child’s name on it.

Trees for Life coordinated with Dillons Stores in 2009 with a state-wide Kansas book drive. As a result of that drive, people are still bringing books to the office.  We were able to donate books for the Bookcase Project in 2009, 2010 and 2011.  The Graysons came to Wichita in November, 2011 and loaded their car with 500 books to give a starter set of books for each child when they received their bookcases on November 12, 2011. The Graysons (bottom of step on the left and right sides) are pictured with the books.

The following is an article from the Dodge Globe newspaper that tells more about the Bookcase Project:

October 15, 2011

The gift of reading: Dodge City man helps promote literacy

 Where there are books, there is reading.

Where there is reading, education happens.

Where education happens, people prosper.