Sisters Seek Books For Colombian Children

By on August 14, 2018

Karina and Juliana Squilanti, respectively a sophomore at Verona High School and an eighth grader at H.B. Whitehorne, have launched a project to collect books for underprivileged children in Colombia.

The girls are working with the Fundacion Pies Descalzos (“Barefoot Foundation”), which builds schools, libraries, and other community spaces to help children develop a healthy lifestyle and escape poverty. They are looking to collect 150 books in English and Spanish, for preschool through third grade readers at the Foundation’s Barranquilla, Colombia, campus library, and they will personally deliver them to the children in November.

The Squilantis are going about their work in multiple ways. They set up a GoFundMe account to buy Spanish-language books and cover shipping expenses, and it has already topped its $500 goal. They are setting up lemonade stands at local community events to raise money for new books, including one at the town’s planned outdoor movie night on Tuesday, August 14, which will be screening Disney’s Moana (Update: Rain has forced the postponement of the movie to Thursday, August 16). And when Verona’s elementary school students go back to school on Wednesday, September 5, they will find donation bins where they can leave gently used children’s books.

“My mom’s family is from Colombia, and we have been there multiple times,” says Karina Squilanti. “I understand the culture, the food, and the music. I am also an avid reader. I want to help these kids to get a good education. They can’t go the library every day like like we can.”

READ  Bocce For A Cause

You can follow the project, NJ Books For Barranquilla, through its Facebook and Instagram pages.

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