World

Liberia to name school after textbook-donating California teen

Mira Loma High School senior Casey Robbins has spent the last four years organizing annual shipments of thousands of textbooks to students in Liberia, a West African country recovering from years of civil war.

Now, more than 14,000 books later, Liberia is naming a school after her.

Robbins will be honored in September when the Casey Robbins International School opens in Monrovia, Liberia's capital city.

"This has been a big part of my life the last few years," said Robbins, 17.

She said she initially got started on the project in eighth grade after hearing a Capital Public Radio interview with Liberia's Deputy Minister of Information Gabriel I. H. Williams.

"He was talking about rebuilding after civil war and he said they were having the hardest time with education and health care," Robbins said.

In the radio interview, Williams said the country needed basic things such as school supplies and books.

So Robbins decided to help.

She started with 425 books in 2007. On Monday morning, Robbins sorted through thousands of books, mostly math and science, at the San Juan Unified School District warehouse in Carmichael. This will be her last shipment before handing over the project to Bella Vista junior Graham Richardson.

Robbins said her interest in international affairs led her to enroll in Mira Loma's International Baccalaureate (IB) program, and the books project also allowed her to fulfill her community service commitment. Robbins, who will enroll at Stanford University in the fall, said it will be hard to let go of the project.

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