Eight Santa Clarita Valley residents are hoping to leave their mark on the world by supporting education and literacy in five communities throughout Africa.
Named the ImagIneers, the group is working with the non-profit African Library Project to host book drives, collect monetary donations and develop five libraries in Africa.
“What sounds small for us will make a big impact in their community,” group member Lenor Erquiaga said. “I know—having many siblings in my family—how one book can be shared among many. One book can reach far, one single book can reach an entire classroom if need be.”
Each library requires a minimum of 1,000 to 1,200 books and a donation of $500 to cover the costs of packing and shipping.
“We have a goal to create five libraries,” Imagin1eers captain Uri Rodriguez said. “So we’re looking in total of $2,500 and 5,000 to 6,000 books.”
The Imag1neers came together early this year as part of self-improvement, transformational workshop out of a new community center called The Redesign Process.
“Why we’ve come together and why we’ve decided to take this course together is because, as individuals, we were looking to become leaders in our community,” group member Eve Scanion said.
During the course, the group created their name, designed their own logo, set personal goals and learned to support one another.
“We’re creating an atmosphere where we’re supportive of one another, helping each other reach our goals and we’re holding each other accountable throughout our life,” Scanion said.
The Imag1neers also had to create group goals and select a “legacy” project to leave their mark on the world.
“As a group we have to go out into the community and make our mark,” Erquiaga said. “We wanted to establish a legacy and… we decided to support that program for children who don’t have books or schools.”
To fundraise for the African Library Project, the Imag1neers are hosting a series of community events in local parks and homes.
The first community fundraiser was a Kermes, or fair, held in Newhall Park Sunday that included games, food and drinks.
“We are trying to get the community involved because we need their support in gathering the books,” Erquiaga said.
During the event the Imagin1eers also accepted donations of children’s books and educational books that will act as a resource for those in Africa wanting to learn.
“Here we have new books and we take it for granted what books we have here at libraries and at schools,” Rodriguez said. “If we can give a book to one individual, maybe that can have a huge impact on them.”
Book donations for the Imag1neers and African Library Project can be dropped off at:
- 24934 Newhall Avenue in Newhall
- 22940 Frisca Drive in Valencia
- Fernangeles Park in Sun Valley
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