Book of Hope Project

First, second, and fifth graders at Steeple Run Elementary School are putting together electronic books to send to students in Uganda, Gahna and Sierra Leone for a project called Book of Hope.

“They don’t have too many so it would be the right thing to do to give more books to them,” said fifth grader Kennedy.

“We’re writing a book about snakes and we’re publishing right now,” said second grader Azrayah.

The books start with an outline and then the students draft their stories on paper before publishing their final versions in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint.

“She’s put a lot of work into this story so I’m really excited to see how it turns out for her,” said fifth grader Anika regarding her younger partner.

The fifth graders have finished their e-books and are now mentoring the second graders helping them with research and finding photos, grammar, typing out their stories, and even keeping them on task.

“We’re just so proud of the students leadership and the level of engagement that they’re showing,” said Jennifer Reible, 2nd grade teacher.

The Book of Hope project is part of a larger effort started by global not-for-profit E-Luminate. In addition to finding schools like Steeple Run to create e-books, the organization also collects a fee from these participating schools to purchase computers for third world countries.

Steeple run received a grant from District 203’s Naperville Education Foundation to cover that $150 fee.

Once finished, all of the students’ e-books will go onto a flash drive that will then be shipped over to Africa.

“The students will never actually get to meet the children and young adults who will read their books so they’re doing it out of their own hopes and aspirations. What’s wonderful is that they’ve been able to think about their audience, that these are children far less fortunate than them,” said reading specialist Paula Helberg.

The first graders haven’t started the project yet but will after their spring break. The teachers hope to expand the project to even more classrooms next year.

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