Rural Alaska Reads

A Project of Global Education Alaska

At Global Education Alaska, we are developing young people across the world as Young Global Citizens. Global citizens are empathetic people who learn about their world and THE world (locally and globally) in its many facets, develop an understanding of a variety of perspectives in order to create their own, connect with individuals across the city, state, and world, and then the last tenet, which brings us here right now.

A key component to becoming global citizens is “Taking Action” in our communities, by thinking globally and acting locally. Because Global Education Alaska is a program born out of our school library, we thought it would be great to “give back” through the idea of sharing the love of, and access to, pleasure books for youth across the vast spaces of Alaska.

Our project, Rural Alaska Reads (RAR), was founded in 2015 by 2 Alaskan youth as a grass-roots project working to promote the love of literacy and books throughout Alaska. Beginning in 2016, Rural Alaska Reads began to partner with Global Education Alaska, to provide thousands of books to students across the state, from the kind donations at Tudor Elementary (and our partners/supporters). In early 2019, the youth founders of Rural Alaska Reads were faced with the decision to let their passionate project fade into the background, or, as we are excited about, hand the baton over to Global Education Alaska, to continue the process of being youth organized (with guidance) and expand our reach and potential. In just over one week, in May of 2019, we collected 2,670 books to send out across Alaska.

Interested in getting involved as a receiver or giver, please complete the form.

Core Mission

At the core of our program, Rural Alaska Reads has one mission: to spread the love of books, and the access to books, to kids all over our state. Now, with it being intermediate aged youth led and organized, our youngest students are the directors of book collectors, organizers of materials, and passionate about their ability to spread the love of reading across the state.

Often kids in rural Alaska have much less access to new, or even new titled used books, and we don’t think this is fair or that it helps build a love of reading in ALL Alaskans. Here in Anchorage, we love having so much access to new, gently used, and popular books, and can’t imagine if we didn’t have that access. We feel it is just as important, maybe even more important, for kids in harder to reach locations to have access to pleasure reading books, as kids in bigger Alaska cities have. We become stronger through reading, and as a state, we become stronger when all kids have access to reading.

Book Distribution

We are excited this year to build and grow our program, connect with more business to donate more books, partner with more local cargo airlines, and reach kids in even more locations. Currently, we operate by collecting gently used and new books via donations, then collaborating with local cargo airlines Ryan Air, Alaska Air Transit, and Iliamna Air Taxi, to ship books to schools and districts in several destinations across the state, who have less access to great reading materials. As of today, Rural Alaska Reads has distributed over 2000 pounds of books to over 20 rural communities.

We look forward to gaining more partners, to reach more young people. If you are interested in getting involved as a book donator, or receiver of books, please fill out this survey to get started!

Interested in getting involved as a receiver or giver, please complete the form.