Students live & sleep in Stauffer for one week

Campus club hosts Live-In for Literacy fundraiser in Queen’s library

Queen’s chapter of Room to Read will spend the night in Stauffer for one week.
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This week, students from the Queen’s chapter of Room to Read will be spending the night in Stauffer as part of the Live-In for Literacy fundraising campaign.

Every night this week, two students will set up a tent and camp out in the library’s lobby to raise money. The Live-In for Literacy fundraiser hopes to raise funds and awareness for Room to Read, an international organization aiming to support global literacy and gender equality in education.

Its primary focus is on Global South countries in Asia and Africa. On a global scale, Room to Read trains teachers and distributes books. Last year, the organization provided professional development to around 15,285 individuals and distributed more than 24.1 million books.

Devyani Bakshi, ArtSci ’19, has been involved with Room to Read since her second year at Queen’s.

“I started as a logistics coordinator,” Bakshi told The Journal in an interview. “I think I just saw the impact we were making, and it made me want to get more and more involved.”

According to Bakshi, a portion of the money raised will go towards publishing books in Asian and African countries’ locally spoken languages—each dollar raised publishes one book.

Bakshi camped out in Stauffer on Monday night and described it as a positive experience, although it was a cold and “early morning.”

The tent is equipped with camping mattresses and sleeping bags. Hospitality Services has provided meal vouchers to participating students so all meals are covered.

Accompanying the campers is a bake sale and raffle—this year’s theme is the Harry Potter novel series. Each year, the event takes on a different literary theme—last year, it was The Chronicles of Narnia.

Kirsten Hart, ArtSci ’19 and co-chair of Room to Read at Queen’s, told The Journal Live-In for Literacy is the biggest fundraising event of the year for the club.

Hart said the majority of proceeds are generated through the online donation page; however, in-person donations are also significant.  

The group’s fundraising goal for the event is set at $2,000—but after the first day, they had already raised $1,000. This is the 14th year this fundraiser has been held at Queen’s. The group managed to raise $2700 last year, said Hart.

The Live-In represents literacy through literary themes and by staging the campout within the widely used library, according to Hart.

“This is obviously the best possible place to raise awareness because so many people are walking by—there’s a lot of traffic,” Hart said.

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