Gift a Page event raises funds for children’s literacy, girls’ education

Megan Menchaca

At the second ‘Gift a Page’ event on West Mall on Wednesday, the UT chapter of Room to Read sold decorated pages of children’s books to raise funds for children’s literacy and girls’ education in Asia and Africa.

Sarah Syed, president of the UT chapter of Room to Read, said they chose to sell pages of children’s books to remind UT students that early childhood reading is essential and that supporting worldwide efforts to improve education is important.

“With this fundraiser, students are getting this memory of something that was really important to their childhood,” Syed, a Plan II and biochemistry senior, said. “They’re also supporting the initiative for those memories to be built in people who would love to have those memories but don’t.”

Hamza Sait, interim secretary of the UT chapter of Room to Read, said the main goal of the fundraiser is to emphasize education’s importance for kids and women in less economically developed areas.

“Children’s literacy and girls education is an issue that almost everybody can agree on,” government sophomore Sait said. “The impact of schools and libraries on specific lower economically developed communities is just immense and extremely long lasting.”

Book pages were framed and sold for $3–$7. All of the money raised will be given to the national Room to Read nonprofit, which works to improve education in impoverished regions by providing access to libraries, textbooks and qualified teachers.

“(Room to Read will) build schools in places like Africa and Asia specifically because of how little access the women and children have to an education,” Syed said.

Sait said education can bring kids and women out of poverty.

“Nothing is more valuable than providing an education, because you can never take that away from those individuals,” Sait said. “It allows them to get jobs and mobilize and become a more educated society, as well as support themselves and build communities.”

Plan II sophomore Victoria MacClements said she contributed to the Gift a Page fundraiser because she feels the need to promote education for others.

“Improving education in lower income areas is a really important goal that we, as a privileged society, should be trying to assist with because we have the means to educate these people,” MacClements said. “Students have the platform to spread awareness towards people that aren’t getting an education right now and we can make a huge difference.”