The Library established the Sponsored Membership Program in 2018 to help connect people in need with Library resources and services by offering no-cost annual memberships to eligible individuals and families. Through the Sponsored Membership Program, the Library aims to help individuals and families with official refugee status in France and other underserved populations in need gain access to our collection of 100,000 books and magazines; digital resources; comfortable, quiet study spaces; programs for children, teens, and adults; and research assistance.
To help identify prospective recipients, the Library has partnered with organizations that offer a range of services to refugees with official asylum status, many of whom speak English and are eager to access English materials and resources for their studies and career placement. Current partners include the Association Pierre Claver, AAWE Community-wide Refugee Task Force, Wintegreat, and YES Akademia. Our partner organizations have a mission to provide a positive integration process for refugees and pedagogical empowerment programs to French youth from historically marginalized neighborhoods.
Some key accomplishments to date of the Sponsored Membership Program:
- Funds raised: 4,500€
- Sponsored memberships offered: 9 individuals / 4 families
- Total number of members: 21 (including all family members)
The Library’s goal is to raise an additional 10,000€ in 2019-2020 towards the Sponsored Membership Program.
The Association Pierre Claver was established in 2008 with a model for refugee integration that focused on accepting them as they are, but also making them French. The school accepts 120 individuals with official refugee status each semester and offers them intensive 6-month French language and culture classes.
The AAWE Community-wide Refugee Task Force, founded in 2016, provides a forum for cross-organizational connections. Participants include AAWE, Every Child is a Gem, Compassion Without Borders, Association Pierre Claver, FAWCO, the American Church in Paris, and the American Cathedral of Paris, and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Paris.
Wintegreat is a social start-up whose mission is to prevent social downgrading for refugees by allowing them to bounce back to being an actor in their host society. Wintegreat coordinates an ecosystem of coaches and mentors which redirect statutory refugees towards a 12-week springboard program established in select French “grand ecoles,” which includes intensive French and English courses and a practical guide to living in France.
YES Akademia (YAKA) is a global grassroots for-social-profit organization founded in 2012 with a mission to combat physical and mental segregation and empower the next generations as changemakers and entrepreneurs of their own lives. YAKA offers extra-curricular pedagogical empowerment programs to youth (ages 15-35) who are inspired to create change and who are from mixed social backgrounds and marginalized Parisian neighborhoods.
The American Library in Paris will collaborate with these organizations to identify students and families who would most benefit from membership to the Library for early childhood development, academic studies, and career advancement.
Sponsored Membership Eligibility
Sponsored memberships may be offered throughout the year. Eligible recipients include the following:
- Individuals with official refugee or asylum status in France.
- Children and teens of individuals with official refugee or asylum status in France.
- K-12 (CP-Terminale) students in Paris based on need and /or merit.
How to support Sponsored Memberships
Sponsored memberships are part of the mission of the Library to expand our resources and programs to populations in need. The Library requires donations in order to offer no-cost annual memberships to eligible individuals. You can support Sponsored Memberships in the following ways:
- Sponsor a Family Membership (donation value: 205€)
- Sponsor an Adult Membership (donation value: 135€)
- Sponsor a Student (ages 12-25) Membership (donation value: 100€)
- Sponsor a Youth (children under 12) Membership (donation value: 80€)
- Make a donation of any amount towards the Sponsored Membership Program
- Organize an event at your school or organization to benefit the Sponsored Membership Program
If you would like to learn more about Sponsored Memberships at the Library, or if you would like to organize an event at your school or organization to benefit the Program, please contact Strategic Partnerships Manager Pauline Lemasson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations can be made by credit card (in person, with an on-line option available soon) or check in euros (or dollars) payable to The American Library in Paris and mailed to:
The American Library in Paris
ATTN: Sponsored Memberships
10 rue du Général Camou
The American Library in Paris is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and an organisme d’intérêt général for French tax purposes. All contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law and will be acknowledged with a tax receipt. Donors to the Sponsored Membership Program will be acknowledged in the Library’s Annual Report.