IU Books & Beyond is a university student organization that connects schools in Rwanda and the United States to collaboratively support intercultural communication and the creation of literacy materials. This collaborative service-learning project seeks to develop globally-minded students by improving critical literacy skills and by developing models for cross-cultural teaching and learning.
Each year IU Books & Beyond publishes The World is Our Home, an anthology of stories written by students in the United States and Rwanda. This award-winning initiative engages youth in an innovative project of their own design that helps them reach beyond international and cultural boundaries to meet each other’s needs. The students are the main participants and beneficiaries as they work together to create excellent reading material at a low cost.
Current initiatives include:
- Creating reading materials. Our anthology, The World Is Our Home, is a yearly collection of stories written by students in Rwanda and the United States. It is distributed to students in Rwanda.
- Teacher professional development provides curriculum training for teachers.
- College-life mentoring matches students at elementary schools with a college student mentor from Indiana University. This partnership facilitates the writing process and encourages students to pursue higher education.
- International cross-cultural student exchange brings students from the U.S. and Rwanda together to visit each other and share their cultures.
- Professional skill building teaches skills in grant writing, fundraising, video documenting, and interviewing.