Sunday, December 30, 2012

Thank you from I.S.A.B.T. for another great year!

Dear Friends and Valued Supporters, thank you for another great year!

We are happy to report the completion of several successful projects in line with our educational mission. I.S.A.B.T. made a significant donation to a new library beingbuilt in the capitol of Accra, in Ghana. A wide range of quality reading books was selected to support the new Book Clubs they are founding at the library.

The amazing Sue Ron-Gonzalez made another trip to Ghana this summer and ran a wonderful Book Club International program in the town of Jukwa. You can read an article written about the program by Lillie Marshall from at and read many of the new stories from Jukwa posted in the online library at

We are also excited to report the success of our scholarship student; Joseph Adams in Cape Coast, Ghana. Joseph is an orphan adopted by a family in the area who was struggling to pay his school fees. I.S.A.B.T. was able to provide for his full school tuition, testing and transportation fees, as well as a large bag of rice to help feed his adopted family. His academic success is a testament to how hard work really does pay off, even when the odds are against you. Please find more information about Joseph and read the I.S.A.B.T. highlights from this past year in the latest edition of the I.S.A.B.T. Coconut.

We have many projects in the works for next year; including shipping more educational materials to African Schools, forging new partnerships with educational organizations and schools, and continuing to expand the International Book Club program. Thank you again for your support!


Monday, August 27, 2012

Stories from the summer project are starting to come in!

They look wonderful, thank you Sue Ron Gonzalez for your big heart and hard work!

One of the first stories, The Best Parts of My Life by Kwesi Forson, gives thoughtful insight into the world of a young boy growing up in Africa.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sue: Summer Ghana Volunteer Travel Through Teacher Grants

Sue with her students during amazing summer Ghana volunteer travel.

Great write-up from our summer volunteer Sue Ron-Gonzalez, appearing in

The following is a short excerpt from article, re-posted from:

Sue with a Ghanaian student on her last day at Bantuma.
Sue with a Ghanaian student on her last day at Bantuma.

TT: How did you start traveling?

S: Two years ago I started researching volunteer opportunities in Africa and found an amazing non-profit, Tomorrow’s Stars. Their focus is on breaking down educational barriers in Elmina, Ghana. I decided to volunteer with this organization at the Bantuma School in Elmina, Ghana. For two weeks, I stayed at volunteer lodging at the beach and read with kids at the school’s library. I had an amazing time, but two weeks just wasn’t enough time for me. I knew that I had to get back to Ghana somehow.
The following summer I went back to Ghana for three weeks to implement an international book club project. Working alongside an wonderful Ghanaian librarian, the students at Bantuma School authored books to share with each other and on the website This website was started by Jonathan Thurston, from the International School of Art, Business and Technology in Ghana. He is dedicated to providing a platform for kids around the world to share stories.

Sue volunteer teaching in Ghana, students listening attentively.
Sue volunteer teaching in Ghana, students listening attentively.

TT: Thanks for these excellent resources. Now, tell us one moment from your travel that was particularly powerful.

S: One of my favorite moments of the reading club was the day I brought out the art supplies for the students to illustrate their stories.  Usually, these students had been so serious in class. The moment they saw the assortment of colorful markers and crayons, the students were beaming with excitement. One by one, each student came up to the desk to take one marker. I told them that they could take as many as they wanted. It was touching to watch these students try to hold on to twenty markers at a time with one hand while trying to illustrate their book with the other hand. These kids had the biggest smiles on their faces!  They all wanted me to take a photo of them with their brightly illustrated picture. For the first time since I began the reading club, each child came up to me after class and shook my hand. I couldn’t believe that something that we take for granted in our schools in the US could be such a joyful event for the Ghanaian students.

Lovely photo of one of Sue's cheerful students in Ghana.
Lovely photo of one of Sue’s cheerful students in Ghana.

TT: Beautiful! How have your travels impacted you as a teacher?

S: My travels to Ghana have allowed me to create meaningful, authentic experiences for my special education students back home. I work with students who typically struggle in school and become discouraged easily with traditional curriculum.  The first time I showed my students pictures of the kids in Ghana, they became so curious and excited to learn more about the Ghanaian way of life. I saw a desire to learn that I just had not ever seen before. My students have now become experts of life in Ghana, and recently taught other students at my school about Ghana during our multi-cultural day exhibition. We have also started an African Friendship Club where they make bracelets from the beads that I brought back from Ghana, and sell them as a fundraiser for Bantuma School. Typically, my students with learning disabilities have great difficulty getting their thoughts on paper. Now, they love to write stories for the international book club because they know that the Ghanaian students will enjoy reading their work. They are always excited to see their books on the site.

Sue in a beautiful dress with her class at Bantuma, Ghana.
Sue in a beautiful dress with her class at Bantuma, Ghana.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Results Are In!

Every year there is an examination conducted by the Galaxy School for JHS 3 students in Ghana, West Africa for which they choose 5 top students from several selected schools. This year they had a total of 356 students that took this exam last April in Cape Coast.

We are so happy to announce that our scholarship student Joseph Adams tied for first place in the Cape Coast competition, and scored 8th place for the whole Country! Over 4000 students took this examination! View the results here;

A second examination was conducted of these top scoring finalists and young Mr. Adams scored 13th place for all of Ghana, which entitles him to a full scholarship at the International School in Accra!

We are so proud of you Joseph, keep up the solid work!

Sunday, April 22, 2012


 I.S.A.B.T. is proud to support the the Haile Selassie Children's Library and Resource Center with a large donation of brand new and unused books for their new facility in Accra, Ghana. The mission of the library is to provide access to literature, literacy classes, mentoring and computer training to disenfranchised youth 4-19 years of age within Ghana’s capital of Accra. The center will also serve as a community space where parents, teachers, mentors and volunteers can create and implement innovative policies and programs affecting positive change for Ghana’s youth. We look forward to them joining the International Book Club movement.
Children in Ghana often have little to no access to books and literature. The books in this donation were carefully chosen for young readers in West Africa. There are many Caldecott (Ashanti to Zulu, The Hello, Goodbye Window) and Newberry winners (Bridge to Tarabithia, Holes, Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Black Pearl) as well as classics like Oliver Twist and Huckleberry Finn with a mix of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Hungry Caterpillar, and Days with Frog and Toad for good measure.
The range of books is deliberate, this donation is designed to be a small library is itself, with a diversity of topics, genres, and reading skill levels.Not only were the titles carefully chosen, but the donation also contains multiple copies of certain books to encourage book clubs among the students.
Colorful picture books were provided to engage new readers and delight old ones. The donation also includes two encyclopedia sets to supplement the library's scholarly offerings.
I.S.A.B.T.'s shipment will go out this week, well in time for the opening of the new library in the capitol of Ghana; Accra. We wish them all the best and we are excited to be part of this important project.

You can make a donation too. Select a book from the library's wish list or order your favorite childhood book. YOUR NAME WILL APPEAR ON A BRANCH OF "THE TREE OF LOVE" painted on the wall of the library. Its easy!

1.Select a book from the WISH LIST (
2.Select the New York address for shipping delivery
3.Your book will be delivered to our shipping location in new york, books will be collected and delivered by the executive director CHIEDZA MAKONNEN to the library in Ghana