About Friends Through Books
In March 2009 we had the amazing opportunity to travel to the Caribbean island of Carriacou with our family. Our parents were there as part of The Ashby Windward Foundation, which helps provide free medical care to the citizens of Grenada on the islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique. While our physician parents were working at the Carriacou Health Services Clinic, we visited a local Roman Catholic school, the L’Esterre Rosary School. It was our intent to meet some of the students in our grades and see if there was anything that we could do to volunteer our time at their school. While there we realized that the school did not have a library. We have always been avid readers and thought this would be a great opportunity to donate our previously read books to the school. We know that reading not only makes you a well-rounded person, but it opens so many doors in your life. The ability to visit exotic places, learn interesting facts and enter a world of fantasy just by turning the pages of a book is a privilege no child should be deprived of. It was shocking to us that these children did not have this opportunity. Researching the literacy rate on Carriacou we found it to be extremely low. The average student leaves school after the sixth grade and is minimally literate to illiterate at that time. We knew we had to help these students. During the remainder of the school year we enlisted the help of our classmates in Boise Idaho. The response was so great that we decided to start Friends Through Books as a way to continue to give to the many schools on both Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
All books that are donated go directly to the schools in these areas. We also thought it would be fun to develop a pen pal program between these students and those in our community. Every book that is donated is marked with the name and address, or email address, of the donor so that when a student reads their donated book in Carriacou or Petite Martinique, they will have the opportunity to correspond with the student in the United States. We are hoping to develop new friendships through our mutual love of books.
Kyle is currently a freshman at Georgetown University, majoring in Biology of Global Health. She enjoys traveling, swimming, reading and spending time with her friends and her Australian Shepherd, Owen. Kyle has participated in the National Science Olympiad for the past 6 years and has won medals in Ecology, Anatomy, Physics Lab and Rocks and Minerals. She has represented Idaho on the National Team for 5 years. She is a member of the Bishop Kelly High School cross country team and the ski teams. She is a member of the National Honor Society and Key Club. Kyle has won the Prudential Spirit of Community Award Honorable Mention for the state of Idaho in 2012 and 2013, the Bishop Kelly High School Award for Promoting Social Justice and was named Next Step U’s Super Teen for May 2013. She has also won the Soroptomist International Violet Richardson Award for the state of Idaho and the Rocky Mountain Region of the US in 2013 in addition to winning the US Institute of Peace Essay contest for the state of Idaho in 2013. She has also won the Presidential Volunteer Service Award in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 and she was awarded the Kohl’s Kids Who Care Award for Boise, Idaho in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Kyle intends to pursue a career in the Life Sciences.
Graham is currently a sophomore at Georgetown University in Washington. D.C. majoring in International Health & Health Care Policy. She enjoys tennis, swimming, traveling, reading and spending time with her friends and her Pug, Winifred. For the past 7 years Graham has competed in Science Olympiad winning medals in Anatomy and Disease Detectives. She has represented Idaho on the National Science Olympiad team for the past 5 years. She has also won the Prudential Spirit of Community Award for the high school division in the state of Idaho for 2010 and the Presidential Volunteer Service Award in 2010 and 2011. She was given Honorable Mention in the Nestle Very Best in Youth Award in 2011 and was named a national finalist in the Parade Magazine/GenerationOn All American High School Service Team for 2011. She was awarded the Soroptomist International Violet Richardson Award for community service for the state of Idaho and the Rocky Mountain region of the United States for 2012 in addition to being named one of Next StepU’s Super Teens for 2012. She also won the Bishop Kelly High School Award for Promoting Social Justice in addition to winning second place in Idaho in the National Peace Institute Essay Contest in 2012. She is currently majoring in International Health at Georgetown University where she hopes to continue her global volunteer work.
Meet the Team Brochure