Over the summer I was contacted by a Civil Affairs officer from the 84th Civil Affairs Battalion who had recently returned from Vietnam. While there, she met an ex-patriot, J.T., who was working with the US Embassy to address the vulnerabilities youth are facing in the country.

“You are not only fortifying us with excellent reading material, but with a story on how people help other people that we will be sure to teach the children.” – J.T.

Many poor and disadvantaged Vietnamese children drop out of school before they get to the sixth grade. One of the greatest challenges, even for children who are able to remain in school, is the availability of quality education, specifically in regard to reading and writing the English language. When the previous international school was closed near what used to be the North / South demilitarized zone, a void was left. J. T. built the new school with the purpose of filling that gap and providing the best education possible. They have largely been able to achieve that goal, but the students and staff needed some help.

“A library is not a library unless you have books.” – J.T.

Children spend time reading in the sunroom at their elementary school.

As we talked through the best way to meet the needs of the children, it became clear that their greatest need was books. Purchasing English written children’s books within Vietnam is nearly impossible. The freight cost of shipping books from overseas was a prohibitive, time-consuming challenge for the school’s staff. However, with the support of our donors, Spirit of America was able to purchase nearly 100 literary classics for the students. The books, written by authors including Jack London, Dr. Seuss, and Judy Blume, arrived just in time for the students to discover them on the first day of the new school year.

The student took time to make a “Thank You Spirit of America” banner to demonstrate their appreciation for the book donation.

Elementary school students enjoy their new books during an outdoor reading session with their teacher.

Spirit of America is proud to have the opportunity to work with fellow Americans from the US Embassy, US Military and ex-pat community who are working to change the lives of these children and many others throughout the world.

Chris Clary
Field Operations Project Manager

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Suite 700
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No endorsement of Spirit of America by the US Department of Defense, Department of State, or US personnel is intended or implied.

Registered 501(c)(3). EIN: 20-1687786

“You don't have to wear a uniform to serve the nation.™” and “Patriotism without politics.™” are trademarked by Spirit of America.

3033 Wilson Blvd.
Suite 700
Arlington, VA 22201

Follow Us

No endorsement of Spirit of America by the US Department of Defense, Department of State, or US personnel is intended or implied.

Registered 501(c)(3). EIN: 20-1687786

“You don't have to wear a uniform to serve the nation.™” and “Patriotism without politics.™” are trademarked by Spirit of America.

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