Living Libraries is growing by leaps and bounds. This year we have four different schools in four different areas of the city. This is enough to keep everyone busy…yet we keep growing!
Each year there is a project the teachers and students complete as part of the program. Last year the project was to write and illustrate an original short story. Then the best story for each class was chosen to be included in a book. Over the summer Lucia and Nancy planned and scanned and researched and worked to create an actual, professionally bound book, “Deja que los Niños te Cuenten…”. The book is split into different categories, and each story is typed up for easy reading, printed in the original handwriting, and includes a color scan of the original illustration.
Last month was the book’s big debut. What started as a way to recognize the students, quickly expanded into an event that could strengthen our relationships with various governmental entities as well as create just a bit more publicity for Living Libraries and CUDA. The event was held at the Biblioteca Regional Mario Vargas Llosa in the center of the city. Over one hundred people were in attendance, including students, teachers, directors, parents, and a handful of dignitaries and governmental workers.
Each student was individually recognized along with the title of their story. They received a copy of the book, a book set of Peruvian tales provided by the government, and a few small gifts from the companies sponsoring the event. We were also entertained by a student string quartet, a short recorder concert, and the traditional dance ‘Carnaval Arequipeño’. I’m proud of the way it turned out!
And there’s something else…
The Biblioteca Regional has decided to put a children’s section in their library. Traditionally the library was a place used almost entirely for research, and most children view it as a form of punishment. In the past few years a Peruvian publishing company has set out to create more enjoyable books for kids. (While our school libraries are largely stocked with Scholastic books, this year we have included a large number of books from this publishing company.) We have seen the space they plan on using and have talked with the staff who will be working in the children’s section…and…drumroll…they have requested that we ‘help’. We do not have to furnish the books or man the library on a daily basis. They want us to put on events for the kids, teach strategies to the parents, and generally do what we do to help improve reading comprehension among Peruvians. This is an awesome opportunity and we are very excited!
Please continue to pray for Living Libraries. Pray for the current school year, new staff that we desperately need to continue to grow, and the exciting prospects we will have with the Biblioteca Regional.