Students create non profit to help kids obtain books in Africa


Carissa Mallory (front middle) at Cups and Cones with organization student members

Emma-Rose Floyd, News Editor

When sophomore Cara Mallory heard about how students in Tanzania, East Africa did not have books to use in the classroom, she decided to do something about it. In 2014, she went on to form the Reading Around the World Initiative (RAW), an organization that has since helped 350 students by giving them over 10,000 online books.

“Everything is taught in Swahili until secondary school, and then it switches to English,” Mallory said. “We are trying to bring more English materials to students, so that they have more chances to learn the language.”

In July 2014, Mallory organized RAW’s first mission trip to Africa with sophomore Sara Campbell to meet with the education leader and build their first library and technology center a week later at the Gerezani Primary School in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Since then, the organization has introduced technology, such as iPads, to the classrooms of the primary school. The group has also organized a book drive for all of Leander, in elementary schools and ice cream shops around the area, in order to send them to Tanzanian schools.

“It’s an important organization.” historian Megan Tullos said. “Every child deserves the opportunity to learn how to read. I feel really honored to be a part of something that could potentially impact so many lives,”

Mallory, Tullos and Campbell are motivated by their quest to reduce the dropout rate and raise the amount of students who go on to college. They hope that the Reading Around the World Initiative will help one day help students around the world.

“I feel really blessed to be to be apart of someone else’s life and help them have a brighter future, I feel honored to be a part of this organization,” said Mallory.