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Bethany Nolan
IU Communications

Last modified: Wednesday, April 11, 2012

IUís Books & Beyond organization awarded $5,000 in CITGO gift cards

April 11, 2012

The gift of $5,000 in CITGO fuel cards will help Indiana University student organization Books & Beyond further its work in Rwanda.

From right in front, IU students Abby Bormann, Brie Petty, Kristiana Moore and Caitlin Ryan accept $5,000 in gas cards from CITGO, presented by, from left, Joey Low, Jonathan Smith, Ron Chance and Ed Timperman.

Print-Quality Photo

The collaborative service learning project was recently named a 2012 Winter Fueling Good winner by CITGO Petroleum Corp. and C&S Inc., the owner and operator of Circle S Food Marts. Books & Beyond provides reading material and IU student mentors to the Kabwende Primary School in Rwanda, and also matches academic mentors from the university with at-risk middle and high school students from the TEAM Charter Schools in Newark, N.J.

The fuel cards will help fund two trips for student volunteers from Bloomington to connect with the children they are mentoring in Newark, allowing the group to dedicate more funds to the production and delivery of reading materials to students in Rwanda.

"Thanks to CITGO, C&S Inc. and the Fueling Good program, our team of fundraisers will be able to focus on raising money to cover the cost of printing and shipping books to the students at Kabwende and expand our impact on the communities that we serve," Books & Beyond volunteer student director Caitlin Ryan said. "The Fueling Good prize will also help the team in Indiana connect with our students at the TEAM Schools. It's about 750 miles from Bloomington to Newark, and the $5,000 prize will make that trip much more affordable."

Books & Beyond aims to address the Rwandan "book famine" by provided high-quality reading material for students there, in addition to mentoring U.S. students. The group's work helps foster critical thinking skills by encouraging students to author, illustrate, publish and market an annual cross-cultural anthology of their own children's stories -- physically illustrating how literature can engage youth in a way that helps them reach beyond international and cultural boundaries.

Books & Beyond also offers other initiatives, including teacher development and curriculum training for staff at the Kabwende Primary School, mentor and pen-pal matching and facilitation, international cross-cultural student exchange opportunities and professional skill building.

"We are thrilled that this award will help Books & Beyond connect the students in New Jersey to their mentors in Bloomington and also help students in Rwanda," C&S President Jonathan Smith said. "By Fueling Good, we believe that we are making connections between these students, both at home and abroad, that will benefit everyone."