Some companies of Shanghai began collecting books yesterday to donate to children in the country's remote areas.
The books were being collected at 20 sites around the city.
The charity book donation will become a long-term effort and eventually more places will collect books.
Both companies and residents involved have volunteered to help after a series of reports in Xinmin Evening News. The newspaper reported that more than 100 million yuan (US$12 million) worth of unsold books at the Shanghai Century Publishing Group can be partly donated to poor children in the city and around the country. The books are new but outdated.
Volunteers said books for preschool children, story books, composition books, popular science and famous literary works are in high demand. Books for teachers are also needed.
The collection, packing and transport process is time consuming and more volunteers are needed.
Hengsha Central School in Baoshan District received 2,000 brand-new books donated by Agere Systems Company through a Shanghai Charity foundation yesterday.
John D. Cummins, vice president of US-based Agere Systems, said the company was happy to help.
"Children are the future of China and every child should be given an equal education opportunity, especially those in rural areas where the education facilities are poor and insufficient," Cummins said.
The school is on Hengsha Island, one of Shanghai's most isolated areas, which is at the mouth of the Yangtze River.
(Shanghai Daily June 25, 2005)