Douglas High students gather books to send to Afghanistan
April 13, 2002
MINDEN — Douglas High School seniors are gathering up hardbound hope to send to students in Afghanistan.
“They’ll know there’s something out there besides their war-torn country,” said April Lilly, 18. “It will give them hope — at least help them learn English.”
Students from Myron Carpenter’s three government classes began seven weeks ago with an idea.
“I heard on the news recently that they’re starting to educate the children but they don’t have any books,” Carpenter said. “If the kids over there don’t have any books, why should we take ours to the landfill?”
He proposed to his students that they gather up old textbooks from their school and surrounding districts to send to Afghanistan.
“They thought this was a good idea and they all got behind it,” he said.
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They spent Friday afternoon sorting through and organizing the more than 3,000 textbooks collected from Douglas County, Carson City and Reno high schools.
“In the beginning it was hard because some of the high schools weren’t calling us back and we were trying to find a place to store them all,” said Jen Wade, 18. “But now, everybody is working together and it’s all going really good.”
Wade made four trips to different high schools to gather books, then stored them in her family’s garage until an empty building was offered through Century 21.
Carpenter said he expects the books — ranging in subject from world history to calculus to health — to be ready within the next two weeks.
That leaves just two questions unanswered: How will they get the books to Afghanistan, and how will the Afghans read them?
Carpenter is not sure yet how it will play out, but he’s been in contact with Congressman Jim Gibbons’ office and his secretary has pledged Gibbons’ support in getting the books to Afghanistan and placing them in the right hands.
Carpenter also called Laura Bush.
“She didn’t call me back, but her secretary did,” he said. “I thought the first lady could help us out somewhere down the line.”
It may also be a possibility to give the books to Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan where people could translate the text.
If nothing else, the students hope the books will serve as a message of good will.
“I just thought it would help us out as Americans,” Wade said. “Maybe they’ll see we’re not as harsh as we seem.”
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