Sunday, January 24, 2010

1/3/2010 - Libraries

January 3rd. is a lay-back day here in Maseru, Lesotho. It's kinda nice to have nothing to do. It's been raining for three days, and has cooled off quite a bit...yea!!! Of the three schools to which I've been assigned, one is fairly new (2004). The other two are very old and run down. I think I'd like to work on making libraries for the two poorer schools. There's an organization in the U.S. which works with stateside organizations to build libraries in Lesotho primary schools. One thousand books, ranging from hard cardboard baby books to fourth grade level books constitutes a library. It's so sad to know that these wonderful kids have, for the most part, never even held a book...forget about reading or owning one. The children begin English in Reception (kindergarten) because it's the second language in Lesotho, so any kind of book written in English would be welcome. My new school has a room which they call the library...are you ready for this...the books are all neatly arranged and placed on dusty shelves...never used...because they're such a treasure that the kids are not allowed to hold them...can you believe it? I have my work cut out for me. School begins on January 18th. My first priority in the new school will be to try to convince the principal that the books need to be distributed into EACH of the seven classrooms so that the children can use them!! I plan to develop small classroom libraries with a simple student/librarian in each class to be in charge of loaning and getting back books. i'll have to call a parent meeting first to explain all this so that when the children come home with books, they won't be beaten for stealing!! Think I can do it??? If I can get past the principal, I think I'll be okay.

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