In observance of his Bar Mitzvah, Andrew
Silverstein, son of U.S. Ambassador Martin J. Silverstein,
wanted to include a local community service project in the
celebration. Andrew decided to build on the U.S. Embassy’s
English Immersion program and English Book Project in local
U.S. Ambassador Martin J. Silverstein
chats with student
about her English book reading assignment
Andrew had a group of friends flying in
from the U.S. for his celebration, so he asked each of them
to fill one of their suitcases with 70 pounds of used secular
English books for his school. Andrew's friends collected
a total of 987 books from nearly 40 donations.
The U.S. Embassy in Montevideo coordinated
the delivery of the books as student interns Jenny Perkins
and Robert Pleva, led by Political Assistant Amanda Percival,
sorted and stamped all the books.
Although not affiliated with the U.S. Embassy,
the school is a partner with UNESCO as a Center for Excellence
and Innovation in Promulgating the UNESCO Ideals via Local
Projects, and has an extensive English language program
for all students, from kindergarten through high school.
Prior to this donation, the school's English book collection
was limited to one small shelf.
Thanks to this outstanding effort, the library
at Andrew’s school now boasts an entire wall of English
novels and reference texts to join the existing collection
of French, Italian, and Spanish books.
The English Book Project, sponsored
by the Public Affairs Office, solicits and receives donated
used English books from individuals and libraries in the
United States for use by local school children. The Project
regularly contributes to over two dozen Uruguayan schools
and to Uruguay-United States Alianza Cultural Centers throughout
the country. In Uruguay, used English books are scarce and
expensive, making them a welcome gift.
Students listen attentive as Ambassador
Silverstein explains how his son Andrew collected the books for the donation
Ambassador Silverstein receives thank-you
kiss from Vincent, and poses for a group photo with the
L to R: the school's English Program
Director Shirley Romano, U.S Embassy's Acting PAO Katie
Stana, U.S. Ambassador Martin J.
Silverstein with his son Andrew, Political Assistant Amanda
Percival, librarian Gladys Erlich, and English Teacher