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UW-Eau Claire honor society wins book-drive contest

RELEASED: June 10, 2010

Golden Key logoEAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire chapter of the Golden Key International Honour Society and the University Bookstore recently collected more books than any other college, university or library in this year's Better World Books textbook drive.

Internet bookseller Better World Books collects used books and textbooks from more than 1,800 college and university campuses and 2,000 libraries throughout the United States and Canada. The books are then resold in an effort to "go green" and support worldwide literacy initiatives. As a for-profit social venture, Better World Books has converted more than 33 million donated books into more than $8 million in funding for literacy and education, and diverted more than 13,000 tons of books from landfills. The annual book drive is one of the UW-Eau Claire chapter's biggest projects.

As a representative of UW-Eau Claire's Golden Key chapter, the book-drive contest winner, senior Audrey Mohr, New Ulm, Minn., service/book drive chair, will take an all-expense paid trip to Uganda and South Africa with Better World Books and Books for Africa representatives in July. Mohr will experience the impact of the program by visiting the urban and rural schools and libraries that benefit from the book drives.

"Not only does this project save tons of discarded texts from area landfills, it puts millions of books into the hands of people that need them," said UW-Eau Claire's Golden Key chapter adviser Paula Stuettgen.

"When the competition for the trip to Africa was announced, UW-Eau Claire was fortunate enough to have an exceptionally large number of textbooks to be discarded from the textbook inventory, ready to be shipped," said Stuettgen. "Our chapter's longstanding relationship with Better World Books, Books for Africa and the University Bookstore allowed Golden Key to be in a perfect position to compete and win!"

As both a service project and a fundraiser, the book drive will create funding for Eau Claire's Golden Key chapter that will go directly back into chapter literacy education programs in Eau Claire, including its annual fourth-grade essay contest.

According to Heather Lee, assistant manager of the University Bookstore, about 12 tons of textbooks were donated. It took two weeks of preparation and volunteer help from students in a business ethics course to pack them up. Lee is an honorary member of the UW-Eau Claire chapter of Golden Key.

Amy Lowther, a Better World Books account representative said she is amazed at the efforts put forth by UW-Eau Claire.

"Their Golden Key chapter is incredibly strong and they consistently run an outstanding book drive year after year," Lowther said. "Paula Stuettgen's brilliant leadership and the unparalleled support of the University Bookstore have helped Golden Key's dedicated students make a wonderful impact on environmental sustainability and worldwide literacy."

Runners-up in the contest were the Upsilon Mu chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at Illinois Central College in East Peoria, and Book Brigade of King's University College at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.

For more information about the UW-Eau Claire chapter of Golden Key and its literacy advocacy activities, contact Paula Stuettgen at stuettpj@uwec.edu.

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RD/DW

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