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UNT professor’s 10-year-old daughter plans book drive for Ugandan children

UNT professor’s 10-year-old daughter plans book drive for Ugandan children

April 30
06:19 2014

Brittany Armstrong // Intern Writer

After spending a semester in Uganda as a Fulbright Scholar working with local universities on the expansion of access and enhancing the quality of higher education, UNT College of Educational Psychology professor Marc Cutright began collecting books.

“It did not start as a book drive, but rather just an effort to bring maybe a bag of books back for five kids I know,” Cutright said. “I contacted colleagues and friends and they spread the word.”

But when Cutright’s colleague Abbas Tashakkori , Professor and Chair of the Department of Educational Psychology, told his daughter about what they were doing, she began a book drive at her school.

Tashakkori’s 10-year-old daughter Ariana is a fifth grade student at E.P. Rayzor Elementary in Argyle. She went to school and enlisted the help from four of her friends to collect books for the project. The five girls got together and planned a book drive.

Principle of E.P. Rayzor Elementary Mary Dunlevy said the girls alone collected almost 2,300 books, which was nearly half of the total 4,800 books collected by the community.

“They decided how they were going to run it, they decided what prize incentives they were going to get for the classes,” she said. “They counted every book, they went onto the news in the morning and advertised for it, and they boxed them all up and put them in the car and sent them.”

Cutright was able to find a non-governmental organization to ship the books, weighing nearly a ton, to Uganda. He said when the books arrive, they will be distributed to school-aged children in Uganda.

Tashakkori said he is very proud of his daughter and her friends.

“I love what they did,” he said. “This is the first step in learning leadership and how to form a team, and the team did excellent.”

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