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Dec 16, 2009

Florida Rotary and US Navy bring 100,000 books for local schools

Christmas is only nine days away. And a charitable partnership that involves the U.S. Navy’s Project Hand Clasp, the U.S. Embassy in Belize and the Jacksonville, Florida’s Rotary Club are giving gifts that will truly turn pages in the lives that they reach. Through that union, over one hundred thousand text books have been delivered to the country within the past month for free distribution to schools. According to Jena Berenberg, the local coordinator, the initiative initially started two years ago as a donation to St. Andrews Anglican Primary School in San Ignacio. The book drive has been so successful this time that they have collected enough books to share with schools throughout the country.

Via Phone: Jenna Berenberg, Coord, Book Donation Project
“We got a lot of schools in the United States to donate some of their text books, which grew to about sixty-six pallets of books, which is a huge load of books. We worked with the U.S. Navy with their project Handclasp and they delivered books about three weeks ago. Ever since then we’ve been at the cultural center sorting books for the distribution to some of the schools here.”

Jose Sanchez
“How many books are we talking about?”

Via Phone: Jenna Berenberg
“When we got the bill of lading they were saying that there were about one hundred thousand books. We’ve had teachers and principals come in to pick up books for their schools. Sacred Heart has gotten some books, Mount Carmel has gotten some books. Several college levels schools in the Cayo District have received books so far.”

Jose Sanchez
“What levels are the books ranging from?”

Via Phone: Jenna Berenberg
“The books range from infant one all the way to sixth form.”

Jose Sanchez
“Now you have a lot of books left over, you are trying to get those books out, right?”

Via Phone: Jenna Berenberg
“For the college level we have some left over. So we want to make sure that all the schools in Belize get an equal opportunity to come get what they want. And after we get rid of all the college level books, then we are going to start sorting the primary school books, which we will be doing by appointment only by the schools because we want everyone to have an equal chance to collect the books that they need for the schools. My associates and I will be at the cultural center in downtown San Ignacio through the week distributing first form through sixth form books. So if you are a teacher, a student, a principal, or any one that’s involved with education here in Belize, we ask that people stop by during the week from three to six p.m. or on this upcoming Saturday from nine in the morning till one in the afternoon to pick up books.”

If you would like to find out how your school can receive some of the free books, Jenna can be reached at 623-4185 or email her at

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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