These past two Wednesdays I drove Cony around to the 22 schools delivering the bags of books that we lend so teachers have a book a day to read to their students. I try to do this at the beginning of the school so that the teachers and school directors can put a ´face´to the library. The rest of the year Cony will go in a taxi. I also make it a point to let the school directors (principals) know that we want to support them in their work: we tell them we can do workshops with them and lend out more books on specific subjects should they wish it. This year we also gave each school one or two small books to add to their own very limited school supplies. These books were donated through William C. Pierce, a professor at Princeton University who has done a book drive each year for us. Most of the books go directly into one of the three library locations we now have but when there a multiple copies we like to give them to the schools. This year we also spoke to the organizer of the monthly teacher workshops and asked if we could participate too. The idea would be that we would tell them news from the library, or about the importance of reading, or strategies to engage the students in reading. This is not easy when learning is mostly rote and there is a limited amount of reading material in the schools. I have found out there are actually two locations for these workshops – one for the specialists like the librarians, only 12 of them in the city, and the other for the primary (kindergarten to grade six) teachers. So, I guess, we will have to split up. The meetings are held the last teaching Friday of the month and hopefully we will go to each of them over this coming school year. I always make a point to ask what the school needs and this year several school directors mentioned the need for dictionaries. I know I couldn´t have taught the grade threes and fours that I did over the years without a set of dictionaries in my classroom. We ´played´dictionary games on a weekly basis. I would love to introduce the teachers and classes to some of those activities but most schools do not even have one set and it takes a thoughtful parent to supply a child with his/her own. They are not that expensive – around $2.00US for a basic one. I would love to be able to buy sets if anyone would like to make a donation. It would take at least forty for a full set as class sizes are really large here. Actually even half a set (20) would at least allow for a teacher to do activities with the students sharing two to a dictionary. If this idea appeals to you, please contact me and we will discuss how it can be accomplished. So now the school year is underway and I have to start planning with Annelizabeth, Biblioteca Puedo Leer¨s director, for talking to the teachers at their monthly workshops. Take care.
Respectfully submitted by Carol Rea Committee Member for Biblioteca Puedo Leer