Forest Creek and Laurel Mountain elementary school students raised more than $9,000 and 1,889 books for Libraries of Love, an organization that builds and supplies libraries for students in Africa.

Both campuses hosted “Walk to Read” events and raised money and books through campuswide campaigns. Forest Creek fourth-grade classes integrated Libraries of Love into a Project Based Learning (PBL) unit and challenged students to produce videos, speeches or essays to raise awareness of the students’ need for books in Africa.

Forest Creek raised $1,074 and 1,266 books to send to the libraries this summer.

“I don’t think most people in the fourth grade realize that we are a lot more fortunate than other people,” said Emily Furrer, Forest Creek fourth-grade student. “I think we did this PBL to show we should be thankful for what we have and that helping other people can also help you.”

Libraries of Love, led by former Laurel Mountain librarian Trudy Marshall, has created libraries in 36 schools in Uganda, reaching an estimated 94,000 students since 2005, according to the organization.

Laurel Mountain’s Walk to Read event raised nearly $8,000 and 623 books to help stock the seven new libraries that will be opening in Kenya this summer.

“We are proud to continue supporting Libraries for Love while teaching our students about the needs of communities around the world,” Laurel Mountain Principal Jan Richards said. “Because of the generosity of our students and community, Libraries of Love will open seven outstanding libraries this summer and bring books to hundreds of students.”