Depending on their age, chances are your kids packed a few electronic devices into their backpack when heading back to school this year. As a relatively wealthy country, American school kids are privileged to have access to computers, tablets, and smartphones that make homework easier. Around the world, however, many students lack even the most basic of school supplies: books.

Sony Electronics recently announced that it will continue its partnership with the South African Department of Education by expanding its e-waste recycling program to facilitate public donations of gently used children’s books. The books will be used to support the South Africa Mobile Library Project, which travels around the country bringing books to children and teachers at schools that would otherwise go without.

South Africa Mobile Library Project
Image via Sony

Under normal circumstances, Sony’s Eco-Trade recycling program accepts both eligible Sony and non-Sony products and lets you trade them in for credit towards the latest devices Sony has to offer.

Thanks to the continued partnership, however, individuals in English-speaking countries will now be able to leave quality used children’s books at selected Eco-Trade drop-off locations in addition to spent electronics.

Collection duration: Sept. 16 – Nov 16, 2013

Needed: English language children’s books for elementary age to 14 years, including current children’s reference books and encyclopedias.

Once the book collection process is complete, the books will be transported to South Africa and distributed among the mobile libraries.

These rolling libraries visit the recipient schools twice every school term (the South African school year is divided into four terms) to loan and collect books. “Librarians travel onboard the vehicles, and advise teachers at the schools how to select the appropriate books and use them in their lessons. As a result, not only do the children gain an opportunity to interact with a diverse range of books, but teachers are also able to learn how to utilize the materials, and maximize their potential,” explains a press release.

The South African Mobile Library Project currently carries over 125,000 books donated by Sony Group around the world.

For a list of U.S. book collection locations, please visit this link [PDF].

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