The Next Star Arts Program

A 2015 national Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) revealed that at least half of Ghana’s school children were unable to read by 2nd grade. Inadequate access to books is among the multitude of factors contributing to this low reading performance among Ghana’s children. The Books-In-Hands project began in 2019 when our founder, Amma Gatty, personally collected and funded the shipment of used children’s books to her home country, Ghana in West Africa. Over 400 books were shipped and distributed to children in Accra and the Volta Regions of Ghana.  This project extends our reach to assist underserved children in rural schools in Ghana, by sending children’s books which we receive through libraries and personal donations.

In partnership with local churches, orphanages, schools, and non-governmental organizations in Ghana, Next Star hopes to get books in the hands of as many children as possible at no cost.
We are on a mission to see children thrive and we hope you will come along on this journey.

Here is how you can help:

  • Sponsor a box. Help pay for shipment. It costs about $200 for each box we ship by sea to Ghana. Use the donate button above to make a contribution. 
  • Spread the word.
  • Collect gently used children’s books (pre-k to 5th) and host a packing party! If possible, pack the books in a large Uhaul, Lowe’s or Home Depot moving box. Tape it securely and ready for shipment. (We will pick up if you live in Richmond, Virginia or surrounding areas.)


We are excited about this project and the unique opportunity it offers to encourage reading among children.  Your support is greatly appreciated!