During the 2010-11 school year, West Seneca Central School District Librarians Haley Warren and Michele Pava joined forces and created the “Global Awareness Book Club” for students in grades 4-8 and their parents at East Elementary School.
The club met to discuss one central theme – the civil war that took place in Sudan from 1983-2005 and claimed the lives of two million people. Students read and discussed the book “A Long Walk to Water” by Linda Sue Park while adults read and discussed “God Grew Tired of Us” by John Bul Dau. Both books described what life was life for those who fled the fighting wandering in search of safety. The club also had the opportunity to meet a “Lost Boy,” who spoke to the group and showed the movie version of “God Grew Tired of Us.”
The goal of the book club was to raise awareness of a common cause and make a donation to those in need. Fast forward to 2017 when Pava received a newsletter crediting West Seneca for their contribution towards building a new facility in South Sudan.
The newsletter noted that three water tanks, a new kitchen building and a cooking stove were built and will forever change the quality of life of many students across Southern Uganda. Though the impact wasn’t immediate, the investment of time, money and patience from the Global Awareness Book Club helped create a life-changing impact across the world.