Sigma Lambda Upsilon combats international illiteracy
Published: Monday, October 4, 2010
Updated: Saturday, October 23, 2010 17:10
Illiteracy is a problem in many developing countries. However, the ladies of Sigma Lambda Upsilon are making efforts to combat that and educate children and teenagers in other countries.
The ladies of the sorority will be hosting a semester-long book drive collaborating with an organization called Better World Books. Within that organization are sub-organizations including Books for Africa, Worldfund, Invisible Children, Room to Read, National Center for Family Literacy and Plan USA.
Better World Book is an organization that, "collects and sells books online to fund literacy initiatives worldwide [...] we're a self-sustaining, triple-bottom-line company that creates social, economic and environmental value for all our stakeholders," according to the company's website.
Sigma Lambda Upsilon hopes to help high school students, through their collaboration with Better World Books, by collecting college textbooks for high school students in Latin America.
Baruch is but one of the colleges the organization helps with book drives. "Better World Books supports book drives and collects used books and textbooks through a network of over 1,800 college campuses and partnerships with over 2,000 libraries nationwide," according to their official website.
Concerning the sorority's partnership with the organization, senior Wilma Pinales, president of the sorority, said, "Our mission with Better World Books is to combat illiteracy in Latin America. With this book drive, we hope to empower students through educational programs."
"Our national philanthropy is literacy and we believe literacy is a product of education. As women in higher education, we want everyone to have the opportunity to [...] use all their resources and fulfill all their goals," said senior Krysta Omeir, director of programming at SLU.
To accomplish this, they will be tabling several times throughout the semester. "We're planning to table at least twice a month," said Pinales. They will table twice in October, twice in November, and once in December, she explained.
Soon boxes will be put in room 3-244 so people can drop off their books there.
As far as the criteria of the books they will accept, Sigma Lambda Upsilon is waiting to get those specifications from Better World Books.
They will accept books, other than college textbooks, and they hope to be as successful as they were last year. "Last year we donated over 150 books," said Pinales.
Since there are only a handful of them at the sorority, they encourage all the help they can get. "At Baruch there are only four of us [but] our hermanas (sisters) from other schools come and support us," said Pinales. They even receive help and support from alumni, she explained.
Pinales explained that they are giving away brownies, to those who bring in books, as a way to thank them. The ladies of Sigma Lambda Upsilon really encourage Baruch students to join in the cause.
International illiteracy facts
- "Two thirds of the world's illiterate are female," according to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization.
- "In Africa, 42 million children do not have access to primary schooling -- and 60 percent of those kids are girls," according to NPR.
- Only 28.1 percent of the population in Afghanistan isliterate and of that only 12.6 percent are female, according to statistics in the CIA World Factbook. "About 35 percent of Indians are illiterate, which has a signifi cant impact on the national economy, as well as on the lives of individual people," according to BBC News.
- "Recent surveys have concluded that up to 20 million Brazilians are illiterate," according to BBC News.