Nonprofit cofounder helps educate children in need

Dan Harrington, the cofounder of Books for the Barrios, helps the nonprofit distribute millions of educational materials to impoverished children.

Why did you start delivering books to war-torn countries?
We saw poverty in a former colony and decided that we’d observed the aid and they were missing the mark. We built schools, found funding to provide teacher development and give them math materials and books. It’s been very successful.

Why start in the Philippines? I worked in the Department of Defense for 30 years and at a time of extreme dislocation and poverty. We saw children going into famine situations. As a family we lent our energies while living there to organize and fix up schools. But we’ve now spread to Afghanistan and … Iraq.

How many books have you delivered so far?
We’ve provided 5,000 volumes to impoverished children and schools. Each year we send out 600,000 volumes to libraries we’ve built around the world.

Why are you so successful? Because we tell them the books are okay to use. Government agencies that send books tell them that if the inventory is lost or damaged, those using the books will have to pay for it. The thought of having to replace those brand new books is a lot of money to these teachers. We don’t hold them responsible.

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

CCSF file photo
Workforce development fund to support training programs at City College

Supervisors back plans to use $500K toward economic recovery efforts through CCSF

Lakeshore Elementary School was closed in March shortly before SFUSD closed all schools due to coronavirus concerns. The district is now working to prepare all elementary schools to reopen by mid-January.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
School district preparing buildings for hybrid learning

SFUSD plans to use 72 elementary schools and 12 early education sites for first phase of reopening

The installation “Alexandre Singh: A Gothic Tale” is on view at the Legion of Honor, which reopens Oct. 30 with safety protocols in place. (Courtesy Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco)
Legion of Honor reopens in time for Halloween

‘A Gothic Tale’ among exhibitions on view

There have been at least 142 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among workers at San Francisco International Airport. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Supes back SFO worker healthcare legislation despite airline, business opposition

Costs of ‘Health Airport Ordinance’ in dispute, with estimates ranging from $8.4 M to $163 M annually

Most Read