U.S. Embassy Montevideo - Archives



Book donation helps local school stock up on English reading material

Posted: October 22, 2004

[U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi]
U.S. Ambassador Martin J. Silverstein chats with student
about her English book reading assignment
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 schools.

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.

[U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi]
Students listen attentive as Ambassador Silverstein explains how his son Andrew collected the books for the donation

[U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi] [U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi]
Ambassador Silverstein receives thank-you kiss from Vincent, and poses for a group photo with the students.

[U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi]
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 Mabel Fresenja


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