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UW Students Help Bring Books to Brazilian Schoolchildren

May 5, 2017
young woman displaying an armload of children's books
Meglana Peak, a senior at UW, accepts a donation toward her Books for Brazil project. (UW Photo)

When University of Wyoming senior Meglana Peak learned that the vast majority of K-12 schools in Brazil have no libraries and limited access to books and learning materials, she decided to do something about it, creating a project she calls Books for Brazil.

Peak is president of the registered student organization Partners of the Americas.

“We are partnered with the state of Goiás in Brazil, and we do different projects that bring cultural awareness,” she says, noting this has included sending UW students to Brazil and vice versa. “With this program, Partners of the Americas is looking to partner with local schools in the state of Goiás to establish better access to educational materials such as books.”

This will help the local students develop their English as a second language skill.

“We hope to have local university students from Brazil participate in that as well so that they can work on their English, interact with the kids and be able to keep that process alive and working,” Peak says.

Peak and her group are setting up drop-off locations in Laramie, where people can donate books and school supplies.

“Let’s make the gift of education a possibility for those less fortunate than ourselves,” she says. “Anything people are willing to offer is going to get us one step closer to granting children and families better access to educational resources.”

Born in Bulgaria but raised in Laramie, Peak is majoring in family and consumer sciences, with a concentration in human development, and hopes to work with underprivileged populations.

“In my own life, I’ve experienced living in poverty and being without a family,” she says. “I’ve been blessed in being adopted and having the opportunity for education and a good life, so I want to be able to work with those populations that I once was really familiar with. I think this is a really good opportunity through Partners and UW to make that a reality. I’m excited.”

Peak has previously made trips with supplies to Brazil and will spend an exchange semester there next year.

You can find drop-off locations at the Cathedral Home for Children’s administration building (4989 N. Third St.), the UW Lab School in the College of Education and at the UW Recycling Center. For questions or additional information, email Peak at mpeak1@uwyo.edu.


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Chad Baldwin

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