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UPDATE: An anonymous donor has agreed to match the first $10,000 raised each year for three years, for a total of $30,000.

As we in the U.S. feel the cloud of the pandemic lifting, many of our neighbors abroad are in the thick of it, especially India. The poor, rural villages where our students come from are among the hardest hit and slowest to recover. For more than 15 months, these students have been in lockdown without the safety, nutrition, educational supports, and spiritual care our partner boarding homes provide. We have done our best to supply them with dry rations (food and hygiene supplies) and to offer outdoor education.

We long for the day when the students can safely return to the boarding home environment, where they thrive. And we know they are eager to return.

When they do return, the campuses will be ready for them. Staff have been using this time to make some simple upgrades and deep clean.

However, one thing that would make a world of difference, but is sadly lacking is a well-stocked library.

LPGM helped create library programs in Indian Lutheran schools over a decade ago. Books have not been replaced or restocked in many years.

LPGM is launching an exciting new campaign to restock the library shelves at our 70+ partner schools in India.

As we all know, through books, children are introduced to new ideas, explore new places, and open themselves up to dream big dreams for themselves. Yet sadly, during lockdown, most of our students have no books at home beyond textbooks.

Learning to read – and learning to love books – opens new doors to a population that has historically been overlooked and underserved.

Girls with books in the Malavarayanur Library in Tamil Nadu, India

Our Goal…

Our goal is to raise $150,000 over three years, or $50,000 per year. An anonymous donor has agreed to match the first $10,000 raised each year for three years, for a total of $30,000. She invites you to join her in bringing books and literacy education to these children, teachers and staff.

This will support the purchase and delivery of books at a discounted rate through Indian publishers (for a cost of approximately $1.50 per book). Book titles will be selected by English+ staff, teachers and students themselves and will represent both English and Tamil-English bilingual books. At the same time, funds will enrich the English+ staff and program through ongoing teacher training, enhanced mobile computer labs, and more.

Would you consider investing in books for these students and training for their teachers?

By making a three-year commitment, you will help improve English and native Tamil skills for thousands of students in India’s poorest schools. This will open doors for future success while instilling a love of reading and of books.

Looking Ahead…

In the midst of the grief and loss caused by the pandemic, we see the light at the end of the tunnel for these children, when they can return to their boarding homes and schools.

Together, we can bless these children, their teachers, and the staff with the gift of books and the training and resources to make the best use of them.

In the words of one of our English+ staff in a recent Zoom meeting, “Books inject fun into learning.”

Thank you for prayerfully considering a three-year commitment to help the sustainability of the English+ program and libraries for years to come.

Here are just a few of the books that may fill the library shelves:

Up Down/Melae Keezhae

Written & Illustrated by Vinayak Varma
Language: English & Tamil

Little Appu wants to play on the seesaw. But who will sit on the other side? A wonderfully simple way to understand light and heavy, up and down, with dynamic illustrations.

A Walk With Thambi/Thambiyudan Oru Ullaasa Nadai

Written by Lavanya Karthik
Illustrated by Proiti Roy
Language: Tamil

“We were late. We were running in the street. We had played in the river, and we had climbed trees…” Everything Amma had said NOT to do! A story of everyday fun that lights up the close bond between a boy and a dog, with clues that gently tell us that the boy is blind.

Author Lutheran Partners in Global Ministry

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