D153 reading specialist collecting books for African visit

District 153 reading specialist Maureen Daley is taking her love of books to Africa this summer.
 
Daley will be one of 25 people traveling to Ghana for 10 days through Literacy Empowerment Action Program (LEAP) for Ghana, a not-for-profit organization co-founded and supported by author Kwame Alexander since 2012. Daley is collecting cash, kids books and clothing that she will take with her to share with residents of Konko, a small village.
 
  Maureen Daley
 
The American travelers will be there to celebrate the opening of the village library. The children are learning English as their primary language, in addition to their regional tribal languages.
 
“Kwame Alexander is an amazing speaker and writer. I’ve seen him at several programs. He was a guest speaker at the Illinois Reading Conference and the International Reading Conference,” Daley said. At James Hart School, in Homewood, her students enjoy his book “Crossover” and she finds it spurs them to read more.
 
Daley loves to travel, but she’s not been to Africa before. She chose to go on the LEAP for Ghana program in late July because she said it offers her “the chance to work with so many likeminded people who are interested in literacy and helping children, not just in our backyard but all around the world, to help them build a better future.”

In addition to being there for the opening ceremonies for the library, they will visit the local school and surrounding villages. They’ll also visit the site for Alexander’s next project -- a health clinic.
 
Daley is putting out a call for donations. In addition to cash that she will share with teachers in Africa, she is collecting new or like new books and clothes. Donations can be left for Daley at James Hart School, 18220 Morgan Ave., through June. Summer office hours at 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Monetary donations also can be made through the LEAP for Ghana website at leapglobal.org.
 
For a look at Konko, click here.

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