April 17, 2014
Daria Dietz

Project: ELI Sends Books to Children Around the World

The new book collection project has sent hundreds of donated books to children in countries such as Spain, Lithuania and Tanzania.

Project Eli books are sorted by project organizers.
Michael Deisting and Laura Downing sort and prepare books to be sent to Belize. Photo by Michelle Peltier

Project: ELI (Exchanging Literature Internationally), the children's book collection and distribution project that launched in 2013, has delivered almost 600 books to locations around the world in its first 11 months.

The project is supported by the MOVE (Motivation, Optimism, Value and Engagement) Committee and seeks to create a cultural exchange of knowledge and goodwill through the sharing of children's literature.

Through the books that Project: ELI sends to children and their communities, the children are able to learn and grow, while benefitting from the acquisition of English language skills that will prove to be an integral tool for them as they grow older. The books offer a cultural exchange and a new global perspective for children through the sharing of literature. Furthermore, Project: ELI fosters a sustained relationship between Saint Louis University and these sites that are in need, furthering the Jesuit mission around the world.

While the majority of the books are sent to children internationally, Project: ELI accepts and will consider delivery requests for any locations in need. Locally, the program provided books to Casa de Salud for its Apoyo y Cariño, a program for new mothers.

Books were delivered to SLU Madrid through faculty, staff and students traveling to Madrid. The book donations have been used with service projects, such as a program for children that are hearing impaired.

Project: ELI also worked with Ziba Sidrys, a University student, to send books to Saint Anthony's Children's Home, an orphanage in Pamuše, Lithuania.

Another partnership included the MIRT (Medical, Imaging, Radiation and Therapeutics) Club to send books to Majengo Children's Home in Mto Wa Mbu, Tanzania. The orphanage is home to 114 children in the HIV/AIDS ravaged community of Majengo.

Project organizers are currently preparing to send more than 300 children's books to St. Martin de Porres School, a Jesuit school with an enrollment of about 700 students in Belize City, Belize.

Project: ELI will collect new or gently used books beginning Monday, April 21, through Friday, May 2, at the following donation sites:

  • Across from the Information Desk in Busch Student Center 
  • Room 130 of John and Lucy Cook Hall
  • Room 9 of DuBourg Hall
  • The lobby of the School of Nursing Building
  • The lobby of the Marvin and Harlene Wool Center

Books will also be collected at the SLU Food Truck Rally, sponsored by the MOVE Committee, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, April 25, on Carr Lane Avenue, between Doisy Research Center and Hickory West Parking Garage. The project accepts new or slightly used children's books written in any language, which are then donated to children ages 6 months to 14 years.

Contact Daria Dietz at ddietz4@slu.edu with any questions or for assistance.

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