One Book at a Time

Mumbai, India

 On Monday, a package filled with 25 children’s books left for Mumbai, India with Josa’s Dad. He was going to Mumbai on business and offered to take some books with him.

Mumbai, formerly known by the name Bombay is located in the state of Maharashtra. It’s considered the financial capital city of India. It’s the most populated city in India and one of the top most populated cities in the world with over 14 million people. Mumbai is far away from Seattle!

Because Mumbai is so overcrowded, not everyone has the same advantages as we have in Seattle. The Dharavi area of Mumbai is home to thousands of people, many of them children. Unfortunately there aren’t enough school buildings or even books for all the children who want an education. That is why Josa’s family thought that might be a good place to share some of the extra books we have. DoorStep_DSC_0067_Vineeta-Guptacom

The students in Ms. Holder’s class helped prep the books for the first shipment. Each student signed a bookplate inside the book. Our principal, Mrs. Paul signed one too!

After everyone signed a book, I put them in an envelope for the trip. They left with Josa’s Dad a few days ago.


I was worried that 25 books wouldn’t make much of a difference when there are thousands of children who need books. Josa’s mom very kindly reminded me about the story of the starfish. Have you heard of this story? I had forgotten about it and after she told me about it, I realized she’s right.

We are making a difference. The actions of our students do matter. Twenty five books will help…One book at a time!


Have you ever been to India?

How do you matter at school or at home or in your community?


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19 thoughts on “One Book at a Time

  1. What a lovely post, and what a lovely idea. Your story goes well with your actions, and is something we often talk about in our School Collective Worship. No-one in our class has been to India, but we often fund raise for a school in Mettupalayam, near Chennai, because it was founded and is run by one of our teachers, so we have had wonderful opportunities to find out more about life there.
    Recently we have been talking about how our little actions – switching off a light or a computer, putting a box in the recycling rather than the general waste – makes a very small but important difference.
    I am certain that the children who share your books will be thankful for your actions. We like to say in our class ‘What goes around, comes around’ – do you use that saying too?
    Mrs Monaghan
    A Room with a View

    • Dear Mrs. Monaghan,
      Yes, we have that same saying “What goes around, comes around.” We have also been focusing our attention on kindness and the good things we can do at school. Our goal was to have 100 acts of kindness by the 100th day of school. It was our school counselor’s idea and I think we exceeded her goal.

      The book package is part of our larger library project Books to Africa. I have another blog that explains that more. Here is the link: I tried to send books to India because I met a teacher who has a great need for them. However, if I send a package in the mail, he has to pay taxes on them, even if they are a gift. Luckily a parent can help us out another way with the children in India. We are going to send our first box to Africa within the next two weeks. One of our contacts in South Africa is taking a trip to the area where the books are being distributed. We have to get them there in time!

      I really enjoyed the animal plays in French. I hope you will share what technology you used to film and have the background.
      Mrs. Hembree and the Bulldog Readers

  2. Pingback: Learning about African Elephants | Books to Africa Project

  3. Dear Mrs.Hembree

    I love the starfish story it helps me think that people can make a difference.I wonder how the kids felt getting books, it probably made them feel great. I know being involved with sharing these books makes me feel great too!

    Love Josa

    Love Josa

    • Dear Josa,
      I like that starfish sotry too! I found a great movie that someone made of this story. Unfortunately it was on YouTube and I can’t use YouTube on our blog.
      If we each work hard to make a difference, then the world will be a kinder place!
      Mrs. Hembree

  4. Dear Mrs Hembree,
    Awesome post. That is so nice of Josa’s dad to bring some things to Mumbai and let the kids have some fun with the technical and learning stuff we use.

    No I have never been to India but there is a commercial and at the end it says INCREDIBLE INDIA. It made me want to go to India.



    • Dear BB,
      It’s so good to hear from you! You must be so busy now in 5th grade. Do you have lots and lots of homework?

      We are also sending some books to Africa. I put the link in another comment. Our classes are learning lots about the other countries. We are going to send a couple of the Pete the Cat books to the chldren there.
      How is school?
      From your buddy,
      Mrs. Hembree

  5. Dear Mrs. Hembree,

    I think that it is really awesome that you are helping the less fortunate. Those kids I’m sure will love the books they are recieving. I go to a Catholic school so we are all about helping people. Maybe it is possible for you to start a fundraiser so you can get more books for the children.

    Techie Kids

    • Dear Joe,
      You have a great idea about the fundraiser. We actually have been raising money. You can read more about what we are doing on our other blog. Here is the link: We have raised over $1200 for postage to send books to 4 different schools in Ghana, Lesotho and South Africa.
      I think learning to help others in elementary school is an important lesson that can last a lifetime.

      Mrs. Hembree

      • Dear Mrs. Hembree,
        Thank so much for replying. I will go check out your other blog. $1200 is a lot and that can help a lot of people. I am sure that all the kids at the 4 schools are very happy that they are recieving those books.

        Techie Kids

  6. Dear Mrs. Hembree,
    That’s a good thing you’re doing helping others around the world. The starfish story is a story I remember from when I was younger and we were sending books to children who couldn’t afford books here in the U.S. It’s great to see you’re helping others, good job!

    Techie Kids

    • Dear Grant,
      Thank you so much for leaving us a comment! The starfish story is a good one, especially when you feel like you aren’t doing enough for more people. It really helped me remember every book counts.
      Mrs. Hembree

      • Dear Mrs. Hembree,
        Thank you for taking the time to reply to my comment! The Star Fish story is a great way to remember everything helps!

        Thank You,
        Techie Kids

  7. Dear Mrs Hembree,

    I really loved reading this post. It was such a wonderful thing you and your students have done. And as for Josa dad how very kind of him.

    We often take things for granted I feel as we just don’t realize just how lucky we are at times. It is such great feeling to give so other may grow and achieve. I somehow get the feeling these children will be so grateful. Every little bit does make a difference.
    It is so true in what you wrote in your comment “what goes around comes around” for we have this saying down under too.

    Great work Mrs Hembree and your wonderful students to thinking of others.

    From your pal down under,
    AA :0

    • Dear AA,
      I am looking forward to seeing the photos of the school in India. It makes us feel good inside knowing that tonight and tomorrow some more children will have books to read at home. Maybe those children will focus on school and become the next inventors or writers or educators in India.

      If you haven’t seen the link the top of the blog, you can see more about what we are doing on the Books to Africa project. We are connecting with students in
      Ghana, Lesotho and South Africa and sending books there. If you would like to visit it sometime, here is the link:

      I hope that the heat of the summer is going away. How is Pete the Cat doing?
      From you pal,
      Mrs. Hembree

  8. Dear Mrs. Hembree,

    What a gift it is that our students have YOU as a librarian!! What a great way to spread the love of reading and help those who are left unfortunate! Thanks for reminding our kids that the world exists beyond our classrooms. How cool!

    From, Ms. Gibitz

  9. Pingback: Books to Mumbai, India

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