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Usborne Book Fair partners with College Uganda program

| Thursday, November 15, 2018

For the ninth year, the Usborne Book Fair has returned to Saint Mary’s College. Every year, the organization brings books of every kind, from coloring to reference. The books will be available from Nov. 15 to 16 in the Saint Mary’s Student Center Atrium, and there will be activities for kids at the event.

Usborne normally partners with The Learning Tree at Saint Mary’s program, which is a resource education center for those in the SMC community. The center is normally used by education or communication, sciences and disorders majors, which use them for classrooms or clinics. This year, half of all proceeds from the book fair will be contributed in books to the Learning Tree’s library, Jane Fogle, the director of Learning Tree, said.

It will also be possible for students to order books for themselves, which will be stored in Learning Tree until they’re picked up.

This year, Usborne has also partnered with Saint Mary’s education and nursing programs in Uganda, which will be in its 10th year this summer. With this partnership, people can purchase books for the Sisters of the Holy Cross Moreau Nursery and Primary School in Kyarusozi, Uganda. The school hosts students from primary school to seventh grade.

Every year since 2009, Saint Mary’s has sent six students, three from education and three from nursing, to Uganda. Education professor Dr. Mary Ann Traxler, who started the program, explained how education students teach classes from pre-school to seventh grade, while nursing students help out in the local clinic.

“We were able to teach in the school for six weeks in all different subject areas,” senior education major Christina McGuire, who went to Uganda last summer, said in an email. “We would teach together [the three Saint Mary’s education students] as well as alone. The students loved when we incorporated art into the lessons, and were extremely excited to have us at their school.” 

Traxler said the Saint Mary’s program has helped the school in Uganda since its beginning.

“When we started, the school only had 20 children,” Traxler said. “Now, there are about 300 children. There’s a new school, more staff, student dorms and we’ve been taking over books and supplies, all while helping to build a library.”

Students are also able to bring over supplies for their classrooms.

“We brought over many resources such as scissors, paper, glue, markers and supplies that are hard for the schools to obtain in Uganda,” McGuire said. “Donations are essential to keeping this school running and functioning as well as it should.”

The books from the fair will be sent over before the students. However, students going to Uganda may use the books and will be encouraged to bring their own supplies. They can also work with the teachers to plan curriculum around the books.

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