Help Us Spread Words Across the World!


BookPeople, AISD, and Random House have joined forces with local author Shana Burg to bring her moving novel about Malawi schoolchildren to life!

Words Across the World is a community-wide literacy initiative that seeks to expose young readers to basic concepts of global philanthropy by directly connecting students in Austin with students in Malawi, Africa through a pen pal program and by providing schools with tools for curriculum enhancement. Over 40 Austin schools have signed on to participate in the program!


Help Us Send Words Across the World!

Donate today to support literacy in Malawi, Africa and here in Austin schools.
Your contribution will directly:

  • Buy books for Austin school libraries
  • Buy malaria medication, oxygen machines, and other medical supplies for our sister community in Malawi through World Altering Medicine
  • Support our global pen pal program connecting Austin kids from over 40 Austin schools with Malawi schoolchildren


*Official 2012-2013 Texas Bluebonnet Reading List Selection

  • Come down to BookPeople, select a tag off of our Giving Tree & donate that amount. 
  • Donate ANY amount at our registers.
  • Donate online right now! 
In support of this initiative, Random House Children’s Books will donate to the book drive for participating schools in Malawi!


“Although known as the Warm Heart of Africa, Malawi has a UN Human Development Index (a composite index encompassing health, education, and income) that is 170th out of the world’s 187 countries, well below the average in Africa. The per capita GDP is $258 per year. While very significant health improvements have been made over the past decade, Malawi’s health challenges are staggering.” - Dr. Kevin Bergman of World Altering Medicine.
"(The Pen Pal Programme) offers an unique opportunity for young people, who have never dreamed of ever meeting in life, to get to know each other; to appreciate different life styles; and more importantly to understand the difficulties  and challenges economic and social environment  prevailing in Africa, as opposed to that in America, poses for young people living in Malawi." - Hon. Dr. Cornelius T. Mwalwanda, M.P, Deputy Minister of Finance in Malawi. 
“Nothing could make me happier than to see students inspired to action through reading. The way BookPeople, AISD and librarians and teachers are supporting local kids to move beyond the pages and engage globally in this pen-pal project is the ultimate thrill!” - Shana Burg, Author