Inspired by St. John Bosco’s tenet of “practicing what’s been taught,” students at the Don Bosco Technical School in Samoa have helped furnish the libraries of 117 primary schools. Thanks to these efforts, school children from impoverished communities have the resources to overcome illiteracy.
This project, in collaboration with several Rotary Clubs throughout the islands, will help achieve the goals of a nationwide literacy program -- while providing hands-on experience for fourth-year carpentry students.
During the course of an intensive four-day project, students constructed more than 350 bookshelves using new tools and technology -- such as cordless power drills. The impact of this real-world experience is significant, as observed by Father Chris Ford, principal of the Salesian technical school in Samoa.
“This has been an opportunity for students to improve their skill sets and resumes, which in turn will better their chances of finding work when they graduate,” he says.
Just as important, the students’ craftsmanship supports the Samoan community at large. The new bookshelves will soon house more than 1,000 books -- which will foster literacy development in the earliest stages of childhood. For poor and vulnerable children, a solid foundation in reading and writing can be the first step in breaking the cycle of poverty.
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