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UW-Eau Claire Bookstore and Golden Key Partner with Books For Africa

RELEASED: Dec. 9, 2008

Books for Africa logoEAU CLAIRE — Africa is in the grip of a continent-wide book famine that Books For Africa hopes to end with the help of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Between now and Dec. 19, Golden Key International Honor Society and the Barnes and Noble University Bookstore will conduct a campus textbook drive to benefit Books For Africa.

Organizers will collect used college-level books in green and white collection bins that will be located at the Davies Center entrances by the Service Center and the bookstore on lower campus, and by the recreation facility in Hilltop on upper campus.

Faculty or departments that want to schedule textbook pick-up by Golden Key members should contact adviser Paula Stuettgen at 715-836-4803 or stuettpj@uwec.edu.

Since 2003, BFA has retained Better World Books as its premier agent to collect books on its behalf. Books collected are shipped to communities in Africa or sold online to raise a sustainable stream of funding for BFA. In the three years since the partnership began, Better World Books has raised more than $900,000 in unrestricted funding for BFA and provided more than 425,000 used textbooks for direct shipment to the African continent, making the for-profit social venture BFA's largest source of funding and its largest source of used college textbooks.

"In many African villages, seven children share one book," said Patrick Plonski, executive director of Books For Africa. "Some village schools own no books whatsoever. By increasing African literacy, we decrease African poverty. Every book donated by a student or a bookstore puts us that much closer to ending the African book famine."

Last spring, UW-Eau Claire's Golden Key Books For Africa drive was ranked 22nd out of 700 participating campuses nationwide.

"The re-purposing and recycling of used textbooks is Golden Key's way of supporting international literacy and campus ecological sustainability at the same time," Stuettgen said.

Books For Africa is the largest shipper of donated textbooks to the African continent. Founded in 1988, the St. Paul-based organization has delivered more than 14.3 million books to 27 African countries. Books For Africa works in partnership with the United Nations World Food Program and the U.S. Agency for International Development to improve education and nutrition simultaneously throughout Africa. For details, see the Books for Africa or Better World Books Web sites.

For more information on the UW-Eau Claire textbook drive, contact Paula Stuettgen at 715-836-4803 or stuettpj@uwec.edu, student Rachel Erickson at ericksrm@uwec.edu, or Heather Lee at the University Bookstore at 715-836-2172 or slickha@uwec.edu.

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