Summer CSGC Grant Update: Embracing Cultural Awareness

Snap and Adapt is a project where we use our grant to provide libraries in Massachusetts with new books each month focusing on a new country. Displays will also include supplemental resources ranging from recommendations for young children to non-profit resources for adults to learn about. Our purpose is to educate people about foreign affairs, culture, and politics in an accessible and engaging way. Since July, we have also designed a website where you can find lists of books we have for each month- as well as our mission, organizations, how to volunteer, and more. The website will be up and running once we return to campus in a week.  

Since our last blog post, we have made a lot of progress on preparing to display our book collection project in local libraries. We decided to expand Snap and Adapt to cover a new place each month, instead of just focusing on educating our community about Puerto Rico. This will lead to our work having a greater impact on more people. We are staying committed to purchasing books written by authors from the specific location of the month. We want this to take our grant from being centered on a CSGC trip to Puerto Rico to a movement that actually brings Americans closer to acceptance of immigration and foreign cultures.

As a Ukrainian, I (Kathrine) realized that altering our project to include more places is an important opportunity to expand and encourage people to support countries that are currently in drastic need of aid. Since the start of the war with Russia, I have hoped that there would be more resources to teach all ages about what is going on, and how to help. After our display about Puerto Rico (and what inspired this project), the next featured location will be Ukraine. 

Finally, once we return to campus we have meetings with representatives of libraries in Greenfield, Amherst, and South Deerfield. We are preparing to set up our displays, provide books to the libraries, and work closely with town members to create events that will open up many opportunities for children to enjoy book readings and everyone to learn about embracing cultures from all over the world.

-Kathrine Margulis ’24 and Aaron Gibbons ’24