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Group creates book for community center

Ann Marie Jakubowski | Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Members of Notre Dame’s Student International Business Council (SIBC) are collaborating with the Robinson Community Learning Center of South Bend to create and market a children’s book that will bring sustainable income to the center.

The project, called “Every Child Has a Story,” was started by senior I-Ming Archbold in the spring of 2011 as part of the Global Development section of SIBC, a subset of the popular business club that focuses on social and community issues.

“I started it to bring the Learning Center a sustainable revenue source while at the same time empowering the children there by giving them a way to make a difference,” Archbold said. “The idea for a children’s book project made sense because the children at the center can write and illustrate it, and we can market it and get profit for the center.”

Archbold said he works with four other students in the project group and visits the Robinson Center once or twice a week to work with the children on the story.

“There are about 20 children between the ages of 7 and 11, and we separated them into groups to come up with ideas and then write and illustrate the story,” Archbold said. “We wanted all of the stories to be the children’s work, so we tried to lead them in the right direction and then give them freedom.”    

A major goal of SIBC is to help students get experience in different aspects of business, Archbold said, and this particular project blends the Global Development subset with marketing concepts.

“[The project] started under the Global Development subset, and then shifted to be more marketing based,” Archbold said. “Within SIBC, the Global Development aspect used to be international-based projects, but now it’s more about nonprofit social entrepreneurship concepts, so that’s what we’re focusing on now.”

The group has already submitted the first draft of the book to CreateSpace, Amazon.com’s online publishing platform, which they will use to self-publish the book.

“Once the stories and illustrations were finished, the stories were typed and the illustrations were scanned,” Archbold said. “We digitalized the book into a PDF and CreateSpace reviews it and makes sure it meets printing specifications, so once we meet the formatting requirements we should be able to begin printing right away.”

While the initial publishing process will require SIBC funding, the long-term goal will be an entirely self-sustainable product that will benefit the center for years to come, Archbold said.  

“The project fits well with SIBC’s mission statement, which is ‘Peace through Commerce.’ If you look at peace in a structural sense, like helping the needy within each society and working to ending that structural inequality in America, you can see how this benefits the community in that way,” he said. “We’re trying to give kids of a lower socioeconomic status reasons to be proud of themselves, and show them that they can accomplish things on their own and set high expectations for their lives.”

Contact Ann Marie Jakubowski at ajakubo1@nd.edu