In March we started another school year with four schools, two of them in their first year! Our team is led as always by our talented director Lucia, assisted by Nancy and Miriam, who just finished 6 months of training. I’m also volunteering again this year with the team. Big thanks to Decatur (AL) Rotary Club for donating $5,000 to stock all of the books in our two brand new school libraries, as well as the supplementary books in our other two school libraries. Big thanks as well to the Bobbie Solley Foundation who is paying for our Living Library team salaries. And to many of you who donate monthly or at the end of every year—thank you. CUDA couldn’t go on without you.
We were so glad that Bobbie Solley and her niece (and friend of Team Arequipa) Anna D’herde, as well as my father-in-law Kin Copeland (Rotary Club President), were able to come for a visit in April and help inaugurate the new libraries and meet with teachers and kids.
I’m struck as I think about another year and new schools by how amazing it is to be a part of teachers, students, principals, parents—communities—starting to get it. They begin to capture a bigger vision of what words and groups of words mean, how our brains function as we read and learn, and how we, as brains and hearts and souls and guts all interact as communities, doing our best with the opportunities God has given us. We’re part of a worldwide community that believes that God is reigning now, so we’re supposed to look for signs of justice, wellbeing, and joy, praise God for where those things are happening and put our heads down and work to make it happen when they’re not. Justice. Wellbeing. Joy.
So it’s May of 2018 and lots of kids are choosing to read books during recess because they have access to books for the first time. Teachers are starting to think more holistically about their role as teachers in the lives of students and using new reading comprehension strategies as they teach. School principals are working alongside their teachers. And CUDA is thrilled to be a part of that, transforming communities one story at a time.