The New Albany cluster of churches sent somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 books to United Methodist-related schools in Sierra Leone in September. The books will be distributed to three new classroom libraries and for bookshelves in ten other schools.

The need for books was noted last year when a team of volunteers from Trinity United Methodist Church in New Albany visited Sierra Leone as part of the Health Partners project working with primary school teachers in Freetown, Kissy and upcountry in Taiama.

This coming January, a Primary Education Team with volunteers from North Manchester, Trinity, Rosedale Hills, St. Luke’s in Indianapolis and other churches will distribute the books and help train teachers in Sierra Leone to expand their skills in how to use story books to enhance learning. These churches are covering much of the cost of setting up the libraries and are covering the cost of shipping books.

“We are awed by the response this project has generated. New Albany’s contribution is a major piece of it,” said Marilyn Griffith of Indianapolis, one of the Primary Education Team trip coordinators.

For more information about the Primary Education Team trip in Jan. 27-Feb. 11, contact Amy Zent at 317-345-8712 ( or Marilyn Griffith at 317-502-7444 (

Photo courtesy Trinity UMC, New Albany.

Church cluster volunteers pack books in New Albany, Ind. for the Sierra Leone Library Project. From left to right are: Sheila Young, Juanita Schmitt, Pat Eaton, Ellen Bolin and Ruby Amburgy. The books will be distributed by a team of Hoosier educators going to Sierra Leone in January.