Mme Dimpho Hani School sits on land previously used as a dump site. The founder, Nthabiseng Hlongwane, built classrooms of wood and corrugated iron. More than 30 years later, she is still the principal and remains illiterate. Much of the teaching is through memorization, relying on activities such as chorusing for literacy learning.
In New York City, I collected more than 1,500 books from schools, library sales, and lemonade stands (exchanging books for lemonade and brownies).
I transported the books in suitcases to South Africa and then loaded them into our rental car.
My brother and I shelved all 1,500 learning-to-read and early-reader picture books and read to the kids.