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4th-Grade Student Develops Book Buddies Program

Supporting Students in Haiti through the Power of Education Foundation
By Michael J. Hibbeln
4th-Grade Student Develops Book Buddies Program

The Power of Education Foundation’s Book Buddies Program is an engaging service-learning project created by Erin Masternak, a fourth-grade Spanish Immersion student from Forest Hills Public Schools in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Erin wanted to make a difference. Her goal was to provide textbooks to students in Haiti while inspiring her classmates to get involved. The program puts great books in the hands of students at local schools while raising funds for textbooks for students in Haiti. For local students, having the independence to select and buy a book of their choosing often means they are more likely to read it, and leading the project gives them first-hand experience with organizational, communication, and teamwork skills, all while doing some good in the world.
For students in Haiti, the textbooks provide a lifeline to learning and are something many students simply cannot afford. The power of literacy is not just in the ability to read and write, but in using those skills to interact and effectively connect with the world around them. Connecting students fosters empathy, compassion, and global mindedness while showing them how easy it is to help someone else.
How does it work?
Students donate books they have read; these are then organized and sold at student-run book sales, typically for $1 each. Everyone loves getting new books and everyone has at least a few they no longer need. All proceeds are donated to The Power of Education Foundation for student textbooks and workbooks in Haiti.
Why it works
It’s an easy, free, student-led project that has a direct impact on students in Haiti. By leading the book sale in their own school and seeing the proceeds benefit others, students understand the value of their work and donations.
The Power of Education Foundation strives to raise students’ awareness and sensitivity to global issues by developing compassion and empathy through interactive lesson plans and meaningful service projects.
Are you ready to get started and bring Book Buddies to your school?
Contact The Power of Education Foundation's School Partnership Coordinator at Find more information regarding the Power of Education Foundation at the following link:

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