"Books For Africa" Project Keeps on Trucking Forward

Release Date: December 9, 2021

Categories: Riverland News Area Media Stories

Riverland’s team spirit and positive energy were on full display again while working on the “Books For Africa” service project this fall semester.  The project was initiated last spring when the bookstore needed to dispose of books to create more room—books that faculty were no longer using or older editions that could not be bought back by publishers.  Dr. Barb Houle, Psychology Instructor, had previously worked with “Books For Africa” and spearheaded this effort.  Working as a team, Riverland personnel packed 16 boxes of books which were delivered to the “Books For Africa” Warehouse in St. Paul by Jonathan Rymer, Truck Driving Instructor, and truck driving students, AK Abella and Elizabeth Richard. 

Staff and Faculty loading books image
Employees and students are loading books onto the truck for delivery.  (l to r) Kari Johnson, Jonathan Rymer, Wade Detwiler,  Dr. Barb Houle, Hassan Tageldin, Kim Byam and Julia Lucio
Julia Lucio, (l) Bookstore Coordinator and Dr. Barb Houle, (r) Psychology Instructor  with the books in the loading dock.
Truck ready to leave image
The truck is ready to deliver books with drivers  (l to r) Hassan Tageldin, Kari Johnson and instructor Jonathan Rymer

The project kept its momentum going into the summer and fall as Bookstore Personnel identified and set aside more books to donate.  Some faculty members also participated by donating books from their shelves.  Throughout this semester, Houle sorted through the books and packed 33 boxes—approximately 642 books—in total.  Maintenance stacked the boxes on a pallet in the Austin East loading dock and shrink-wrapped them to prepare for their pick up.

Rymer and two of his truck driving students (Kari Johnson and Hassan Tageldin) picked up the pallet of books and delivered it to the “Books For Africa” warehouse in St. Paul.  This experience was a great learning opportunity for the students.

These books will be shipped to Africa where schools and communities will benefit, providing much needed resources to teachers and students in their educational endeavors.  This team is committed to similar efforts in the future when books become available. Stay tuned for information about donating books towards this project. 

A big THANK YOU to those at Riverland who participated in this service project!  It is your generosity, hard work, and upbeat energy that makes the project a success!