Monday, March 30, 2015

Here is a chance for e-book readers of all stripes, but especially those who have older Kindles, to help a bunch of poor schoolchildren in El Salvador! I know that I have multiple Kindles and am guessing that many of you do also.

Dear colleagues and friends,

I apologize in advance for the email clutter.

In July, my two daughters and I are going to El Salvador to visit Suchitoto, the community where we’ve been volunteering for the past five years.

We’re very excited about our plans for this year. We’ll be working with the local schools and the NGO ConTextos to launch an e-reader program in the community. ConTextos recently raised funds to start the first e-reading and digital library programs in El Salvador. 

We need your help to expand the program! We’re writing to ask you to donate any used Kindles you own, or to otherwise support our efforts to bring used Kindles to these communities.

It is hard to exaggerate the importance of the work ConTextos is doing in training teachers and supplying books. In El Salvador, poverty is endemic; 30% of the population lives on less than $1.25/day. Kids coming from impoverished homes with parents who can’t read often have no exposure to books until they start school. At school, students lack access to books and learn via rote memorization, copying and dictation. They are not exposed to actual books until 3d grade, assuming any books are available even then. According to the El Salvador Ministry of Education, 22% of students abandon school before the third grade and nearly 40% drop out before grade 9.

Kindles can make a real impact by providing a method for students to secure access to countless texts throughout their education—something that is not economically feasible with actual paper books.

We are asking people like you to donate your old Kindles so we can help establish an e-reader lab in Suchitoto. Our goal is to collect at least 100 kindles, which would permit ConTextos to train all of the teachers in the village’s school system, as well as to provide multiple kindles with pre-loaded age-appropriate content for each classroom in the K-8 student population. The Kindles can be any generation or type, but they must be in working order.

If you don’t have a Kindle, but would like to make a donation to support ConTextos’ work, click here to donate.

If you have a used Kindle, here are the easy steps for donating:

1. Erase the contents of your Kindle see the link below or the instructions at the end of this email.

2. Bring your Kindle to campus and drop me a note letting me know where to find you. (I’m at

3. OR send your Kindles (and your chargers, if you still have them) to us:

Michelle Oberman
Santa Clara University School of Law
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara CA 95053

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