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Providence Children Can Help Change Lives in Africa This Summer - Just By Reading Books!

Published Date: 
June 18, 2015

Kids Who Take Part in PCL's Summer Reading Program Will Exchange Letters, Emails and Gifts With Children at the Kitengesa Community Library in Uganda

This year’s Summer Reading Program has the theme “Every Hero Has a Story” and young readers at Providence Community Library (PCL) will get a chance to be real live heroes by “earning” money to help PCL’s sister library in central Uganda! The project will encourage young people at PCL and the Kitengesa Community Library to learn about each other’s communities, develop pen-pal friendships and exchange homemade gifts, such as friendship bracelets. PCL is appealing to businesses and the people of Providence to help sponsor the international program.

“As they read and complete summer reading activities, children will receive special “coins,” said Cheryl Space, PCL’s Youth Services Coordinator. “The children will watch the coin collection grow and be motivated to read more books, because by doing so, they’ll be helping their new friends in Africa.” All contributions received in support of the Kitengesa appeal will be used to provide real monetary value to the special coins earned by the children during the Summer Reading Program. Donations will be used to buy books, paper, activity tents, laptops, internet service and support for librarians at Kitengesa library.

Lavinia Gadsden, a substitute librarian at PCL who has served as a volunteer at the Kitengesa Library, was instrumental in helping PCL get the international project off the ground. “People in Kitengesa have little access to electricity and only recently acquired running water” she said. “However, more children are attending school so the literacy rate is improving. The library plays a crucial role in the community by promoting literacy, health and economic initiatives.” The Kitengesa library building is equipped with solar panels and is an important source of electricity for local people, allowing them to power cell phones, access computers and connect to the world via the internet.

Dr. Kate Parry, Professor of English at Hunter College, City University of New York in Manhattan and a founder of Kitengesa Community Library, will help manage communications between the Kitengesa and Providence during the summer. PCL is proud that the partnership between the two community libraries will help Kitengesa to provide life changing services for its patrons and, at the same time, encourage children at PCL to keep up their reading skills over the summer months.

Young readers can sign up for PCL’s Summer Reading Program at the following kickoff events, featuring fun activities, refreshments and a free book to take home and keep, donated by Books Are Wings:

  • Wednesday, June 24, 3:30p.m Wanskuck Library, 233 Veazie Street
  • Tuesday, June 30, 2:00p.m. Rochambeau Library, 708 Hope Street
  • Tuesday, June 30, 2:00p.m. South Providence Library, 441 Prairie Avenue
  • Wednesday, July 1, 1:00p.m. Smith Hill Library, 31 Candace Street
  • Wednesday, July 1, 3:30p.m. Olneyville Library, One Olneyville Square
  • Thursday, July 2, 10:00a.m. Knight Memorial Library,275 Elmwood Ave.
  • Thursday, July 2, 2:00p.m. Washington Park Library, 1316 Broad Street
  • Thursday, July 2, 3;00p.m. Fox Point Library, 90 Ives Street
  • Thursday, July 2, 4;00p.m. Mount Pleasant Library, 315 Academy Ave.

For more information visit PCL Summer Reading Program and the Kitengesa Community Library appeal. To make a donation, send checks to Providence Community Library, P.O. Box 9267, Providence, RI 02940 (payable to Providence Community Library with “Kitengesa Community Library” on the memo line). Or make an online donation: