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BookWaves Coalition donates 33K books to students in Puerto Rico

The American Federation of Teachers, Transportation Institute and First Book have launched BookWaves, a coalition of unions, U.S. shipping companies and nonprofit organizations that have united to provide more than 100,000 free books to students and families during the COVID-19 crisis.

The first wave of 3,000 bilingual and Spanish STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) books were distributed at a socially distant outdoor event at the Manuel A. Perez Housing complex in San Juan, with more distributions to follow.

BookWaves is supported by U.S.-based marine shipping companies Crowley, Matson, TOTE, the Seafarers International Union, Convoy, and local air and ground transportation companies that have donated their expertise and services to ship tens of thousands of books across land and sea to remote communities in need of books.

Crowley donated the shipping of the 3,000 STEM books in Spanish, bilingual and English titles and is committed to shipping another 30,000 books to Puerto Rico, the Coalition said.

The Puerto Rico Association of Teachers is spearheading the effort to distribute books, as well as partnering with the Seafarers International Union to create maritime collections in high schools to support career and technical education.

“This is a great initiative, which truly will have a positive impact for the students. A book in the hands of a child or young person is an opportunity for the development of language, comprehension, reading and their upbringing as a human being, said Elba L. Aponte-Santos, president of the Association of Teachers. “We’re grateful for this collaboration to bring high-quality books, which are so important for students and teachers of Puerto Rico.”

“Working in partnership with the Transportation Institute, including Crowley and TOTE, as well as the teachers of our young students in Puerto Rico, we will create a pathway of knowledge that enables these students to learn, grow and seek out the career ladders that are offered in the maritime industry and other opportunities,” said Seafarers International Union San Juan Port Agent Amancio Crespo.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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