1. Why should Chinese children learn English?
All Chinese children learn Mandarin in school and their local dialect at home. With the fast opening of the society, they see an outside world full of possibilities. For the most part, that world is conducted in English.
Asian governments promote the teaching of English; Asian parents push their children to learn English. The Chinese know that proficiency in English is crucial in advanced studies, in career opportunities, and in a better life for their children. For some, it can be the education that breaks the cycle of poverty.
Furthermore, libraries and educators enthusiastically request English language children’s literature.
2. How much good will these libraries do?
These beautiful children’s books will open their eyes and minds, inspire dreams, and stretch imaginations. By providing world-class children’s literature in the English language, we foster an appreciation of cultural diversity, thereby helping to raise the next generation of world citizens.
Based on experiences and local library’s expectations, we expect large crowds and high circulation rates at the new libraries.
We invite teachers to bring their classes to visit our libraries, or to check out books to use in their classrooms. We notice many adults want to visit the libraries, since they never had such English reading materials when they were young. We especially encourage teachers’ colleges to use the libraries in their English teacher training curriculums.
3. What portion of my donation goes to the libraries?
We are an all-volunteer organization; therefore, there are virtually no administrative expenses. In addition to contributing their time and talents, volunteers pay for their phone calls and travels out of their own pockets.
There are, however, shipping costs associated with transporting large quantities of books across the country and across the Pacific Ocean. That is the only expense; the rest all goes into literary materials for the libraries.
4. Why do we help city kids learn English, while some Chinese children can’t even go to school for their basic education?
It is certainly true that some urban poor and the rural parents cannot send their children to school, and their needs are profound.
We believe in empowering people to help themselves. We think that if the children who are already learning rudimentary English have access to extra-curricular materials to stimulate their interest in reading and enrich their experiences, they will make great strides.
We believe that, in time, the children with English capabilities will grow up to become productive citizens and contribute to the society with the power of knowledge, thereby raising the living standards for all.
5. Shouldn’t we stock the libraries of the poor school districts in the US also?
Undoubtedly there are under-privileged public schools in the US that can use good books at their libraries, and there are nonprofit organizations that address that issue.
Apple Tree Library Foundation contributes a small portion of itsbooks for this purpose. Ofthe books we procure, the ones that are not likely to pass the Chinese censor board, but are completely suitable for young readers in this country will be distributed to disadvantaged public children’s libraries.