Scholastic Canada Makes First Books Donation to The Asia Foundation for Thailand’s Tsunami Region

Phuket, April 27, 2006 — Education Materials Valued at 12 Million (Thai Baht) To Go To Most Needed Areas

Today, The Asia Foundation’s longest running program, Books for Asia, will donate over 80,000 English-language volumes to hundreds of Thai schools in communities affected by the tsunami. This collection of mostly primary and secondary level books and education materials was made possible by a donation from Scholastic Canada. Together, students, teachers, parents, and Scholastic Book Fairs Canada were proud to support the tsunami relief effort. This donation will be distributed in partnership with Books for Thailand, The Asia Foundation’s partner in Thailand since 1996, and the Rotary Club of Patong Beach.

Hundreds of Thai children lost one or both parents in the 2004 tsunami, and schools throughout the affected region still lack basic education supplies, reading materials, and textbooks. “Sixteen months after this disaster, communities are still recovering from the loss of teachers and parents as well as school facilities and supplies,” said Linda Gosnell, co-president, Scholastic Canada. “Working with Books for Asia allowed us to ensure these books reached the children who need them most.”

Shipped from Books for Asia in San Francisco, the books arrived in Thailand, where they were received by Books for Thailand and sorted by the Rotary Club of Patong Beach. Through its network of members and resources in Rotary District 3330, the Rotary Club identified recipient schools in need as well as coordinated local high school students and other volunteers to help sort the shipment of approximately 190 titles. These books will not only restock libraries that were destroyed by the tsunami, they will also reach remote communities that previously did not have access to children’s books, much less English-language materials. This donation responds to an increasing interest in learning English among young students and provides colorful children’s picture books and education resources.

“Our trusted partnership with Books for Asia and our coordination with the Rotary Club were key in our efforts to reach the children left vulnerable by the tsunami in a timely and effective manner,” said Burin Kantabutra, vice chairman, Books for Thailand.

Access to educational opportunities and resources are critical to increasing economic and psychological recovery in the region. “Stocking school and library shelves with books in tsunami-affected areas will provide an important sense of normalcy for these students as well as inspire a lifelong interest in reading and learning,” said Gavin Tritt, director of the Books for Asia program.

Since its first donation to Thailand in 1970, Books for Asia has donated 2.5 million books to schools, public libraries, universities, and other institutions throughout the country. Since 1954, Books for Asia has distributed more than 41 million books, software programs, and other educational materials to more than 50,000 institutions in 40 countries.

About Books for Thailand

Established in 1996 by The Asia Foundation and Thai business and civic leaders, the Books for Thailand Foundation supports book donations in Thailand and has become the leader in donating new English-language books to schools, universities and other academic institutions, public libraries, and professional and civic organizations across Thailand.

About Scholastic Canada

Scholastic Canada is part of the global children’s publishing, education and media company and has a corporate mission supported through all of its divisions of helping children around the world to read and learn. Recognizing that literacy is the cornerstone of a child’s intellectual, personal and cultural growth, for over 50 years, the Canadian company has created quality products and services that educate, entertain and motivate children and are designed to help enlarge their understanding of the world around them.

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