By Sara Humphries 

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Books collected to be donated to Nigeria.

Reinhardt students, faculty and staff donated more than 5,000 books as part of the Afrika Reads program and to celebrate the Year of Nigeria.

Each year Reinhardt University contributes to the Afrika Reads book donation. Reinhardt has collected and shipped approximately 50,000 books in the past eight years to Nigerian students, making the University the largest donor to the libraries that receive the donations.

The drive was led by Tunji Adesesan, director of the Academic Support Office and Center for Student Success. Adesesan is a Nigerian native and leads Reinhardt’s African Descendants Student Association, which aims to raise awareness on campus about African people, culture and misconceptions and hopes to spark a greater interest among the student body regarding the African continent and culture.

"It is a wonderful thing to have a community like RU that has supported this project for eight years," said Adesesan.

This year’s book drive felt especially fitting as students learned about Nigeria through Reinhardt’s “Year of” initiative. Since 2003, Reinhardt has chosen a region of the world for students to focus learning about through in-depth study and hands-on interaction. The “Year of” initiative contributes to Reinhardt’s Quality Enhancement Plan, “Where in the World RU Going?,” teaching students how to become well-rounded individuals with a better understanding of the world.

"As part of the Year of Nigeria celebration, we have also expanded the project to prisons in Nigeria. We are helping a female prison, known as Kirikiri prison, to set up their library."

The drive donated 60 boxes of books to Dominion University on Lagos, Ibadan expressway in Nigeria. The drive also contributed 60 boxes of books to the library in the Kirikiri Women prison in Lagos, Nigeria's former capital.

"It is important for us to participate in book drives like these," said Adesesan. "I feel it is important because knowledge is power."