Giving the gift of literacy was the goal of third- through fifth-grade students at Locust Valley Intermediate School after learning that their peers in Uganda go to schools that have very few books. The Locust Valley students were determined to help following a presentation by Long Island University professors who are leading the effort to bring literacy to these poverty-stricken schools.

Drs. Valenda G. Dent and Geoff Goodman, along with their young child, travel yearly to Uganda on missions to help improve life there. The couple shared a slideshow with LVI students that revealed schools with no floors, cramped homes without solid roofs and children dressed in torn clothing with little to eat. 

The professors explained that these children are eager to learn to read and need books to accomplish that goal. Teachers need materials to better teach their students. It’s no surprise that the LVI students and staff jumped into action, collecting numerous boxes of books to donate to the cause.

“How many of you have books at home that you never read?” asked Dr. Dent. “These children would really benefit from having that book.”

Assistant Principal Amy Watson said she had to keep putting more boxes out for the collection, as each one overflowed with donations. “The generosity of the community is overwhelming,” she said. “I am so proud that our school can help make a difference for those in need.”