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Live from the Smithonian Institution: One Hen Awarded Best Book for Young Children

By Ruth-Anne Renaud

The Outreach Council of the African Studies Association annually salutes the authors and illustrators of outstanding books about Africa published or distributed in the United States for young children and older readers.  Today, Katie Smith Milway’s One Hen: How One Loan Made a Big Difference is commended for the life lessons it instills in youth, teaching them that one small act can have a profound impact. 

I can’t think of a better venue for this youth-driven ceremony than the Smithsonian Institution, America’s historic national educational facility. Many notable authors have received this award in previous years, so we celebrate that is honor is being bestowed upon Katie today.

Also receiving an award is Claire A. Nivola, author of children’s book Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai, a true story that teaches the people of Kenya to appreciate their surroundings and care for their land by planting trees . Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the Green Belt Movement, dedicated her life to encouraging people to repair their economy, land, and health with simple, environmentally friendly acts.  In the story, Nivola recounts Wangari’s story to inspire young readers to be young activists for the future of their planet, and today she will receive the 2009 award for Honor Books for Young Children.

Coincidently, Katie’s next book, due out in August 2010, will introduce children to food security and sustainable agriculture. Kids will learn how they can nurture the soil and play their part in supporting poor farmers through acts of giving.

I am honored, to receive this award alongside authors like Claire Nivola.  And I’m thrilled that Africa Access and the Smithsonian Museum of African Art choose to lift up books about Africa.” – Katie Smith Milway

This weekend’s events provide further testament that the story of Oneen and its interactive website teach children inspiring life lessons that motivate them to seek change and transform lives in the developing world through microfinance. Opportunity International is committed to its partnership with One Hen as it has demonstrated to be an effective tool for building up our youth to be the next generation of global citizens.

For more information on the Children’s Africana Book Award, past winners, and other highly recommended books, see www.africaaccessreview.org.

For more information on One Hen, visit www.onehen.org.

Learn more about Opportunity International’s partnership with One Hen and how you can involved http://www.opportunity.org/onehen

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