In 2007, International Book Project launched the Books as Bridges program to meet the growing need for greater cultural awareness in Kentucky. Books as Bridges pairs local classrooms with overseas classrooms to partner in a cultural literacy exchange. Here is how Books as Bridges works:
- Our Books as Bridges coordinator works directly with each classroom (in-person or by zoom depending on location), teaching one class in the fall on general history and geography of their partner country. In the spring, we return with a hands-on cultural class on arts, food, costumes, or music representative of the partner country.
- During the year, students write and send three (or more) letters to each other allowing for an organic friendship and strengthening the writing skills of every student.
- Students exchange a cultural package during the school year, including pictures and small trinkets and toys that represent life in their respective countries. Shipping fees are covered by the International Book Project.
- International partner classrooms receive small shipments of books from IBP to help grow their school libraries.
Local students are encouraged to act on their compassion and design a project that they can execute themselves, such as writing persuasive letters on behalf of their pen-pals to local businesses for school supply donations or organizing book drives for International Book Project shipments. These service-learning projects benefit both the international recipient and the local classroom by creating an environment for sharing and learning.
In 2019 International Book Project launched its free kids’ summer program, Globetrotters. Over the course of the week-long program, participants “travel” to five different regions of the world. Regions include, but are not limited to, Southeast Asia, West Africa, Latin America, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and Oceania. Each day of the program offers a fact-based presentation about a particular region of the world coupled with immersive cultural lessons that feature food tastings, arts and crafts, dance, music, storytelling, and more! Globetrotters is not only fun, but it also helps students develop geospatial skills, improve reading and writing, and increase their understanding of the diverse world in which they live. Globetrotters is proudly sponsored by the LG&E and KU Energy Foundation and the Junior League of Lexington.
2023-2024 Program – Sign up below!
Please contact our Books as Bridges Coordinator (BAB@intlbookproject.org) with questions!