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Aspen School Celebrates Books, Libraries & Africa

on May 26, 2017 - 5:07am
Aspen students show off some of the books they have collected for The African Library Project. Courtesy photo
Chris Bradshaw, founder of The African Library Project, visited Aspen School Tuesday. Kindergarten students presented her with a special handmade hat. Courtesy photo


Tuesday, Aspen students were treated to an assembly celebrating books, libraries and Africa. Chris Bradshaw, founder of The African Library Project, spoke to all 450 students and staff at the school about her experiences making libraries in African countries.

Her presentation highlighted the similarities and differences in the lives and educational opportunities of children in Africa with those of children in the USA.

In the 10 years since its inception, The African Library Project has sent books to 2,007 libraries (over 2,000,000 books) to 11 different English-speaking countries. The Los Alamos community has helped Aspen, Barranca, and Chamisa K-Kids service clubs send books to 11 libraries in the past school year.

Bradshaw was greeted with a percussion and drumming group playing African music as students entered and left the gym and at one point joined right in with the drummers.

Many students sported hats decorated with phrases about books and libraries (I love books! Hug a book today! Books can change lives! We sent 11 libraries to Africa!), zebra striped shirts, leopard print leggings, and the staff almost all sported dashikis.

Kindergarten students presented Bradshaw with her own, specially made hat which she wore throughout her presentation. A short game show pitting four K-Kids against four teachers ended in a tie.

Large cardboard cut-outs of realistic African animals decorated the stage thanks to the YMCA and Young Life, along with a 15 packed and ready to ship boxes of books headed to a school in Malawi later this week. A very large box for collecting additional books was spilled over onto the floor, filled in one day by generous Aspen students and staff.

Bradshaw also found time for a quick stop at Chamisa School in White Rock where she met over lunch with the newly formed K-Kids group. This group very recently held a book drive and also sent a library to Malawi which was shipped last week.

Sharon Allen, local retired teacher and book drive organizer, intends to continue working with interested groups in the area to encourage and facilitate the collection and shipping of more libraries to African countries.

Those interested in setting up a book drive, donating books, or shipping funds for future libraries, should contact Allen at

An African drumming group made up of Aspen students is joined by special guest Chris Bradshaw. Courtesy photo