In our last post, A Surprising Library Lesson, we shared some VERY important information about the learning we are ALL doing as we help with the Q’enqo Library Project. Although our last lesson was hard, discovering that the books in the newly finished library were NOT being used because of a fear of ruining them, and a lack of understanding and experience in the community for HOW to sign them out to keep track of them, we KNOW that we will ALL be able to help build capacity. We will work with Mosqoy and Q’ente to build the people skills within the community of Q’enqo. The Global Grade Threes live TOO far away to be able to help out in person … so … we have been working hard on OUR end to bring materials and VISUALS together to send to Q’enqo! We are PASSIONATE about seeing the library used … because we all feel so FORTUNATE to have books in OUR lives!
Geneva talked to us about problem solving. There are no computers in this small rural weaving village … and materials are hard to come by. She told us that they would organize the books “old school” … with a pocket glued into the back of the books, a card for keeping track of the “borrower” and a spot to record the “date due”. Ms. Emann and Mrs. Renton SHOWED us one of these “old school” books … and told us ALL about how THEY had to sign out books from their school libraries … back in the DAY … when THEY went to school! We giggled … because … we’ve NEVER seen that before … our library books are SCANNED on a COMPUTER whenever WE sign them out!
Geneva couldn’t GET these special pockets but, just like the “plooms” and the “brollers” when they were refinishing the library, they PROBLEM solved! She took old envelopes, cut them in half and glued them into the backs of the 61 books they were able to find at the market in Cusco.
We have a SURPRISE for her! Even though they’ve been using a computer to scan our library books for YEARS … our LIBRARIAN had some of those special pockets tucked away in a cupboard! We feel SO lucky to be able to send about 500 of these pockets to Q’enqo! The NEXT books they purchase will be able to have OFFICIAL pockets in them! Mrs. Renton even went through the INVENTORY catalogue and managed to find some of the special cards for students to print their names on … and the little pieces of paper to glue into the book to stamp the “date due”!
Books are very near and dear to our hearts. This last little speed bump in our special Battalion Library Project will NOT set us back … it will teach us to persevere … to problem solve … and to learn even MORE about being Change Makers! We are COMMITTED to bringing a love for books to Q’enqo TOO, because:
“I just LOVE books because without them I’d be petrified of doing nothing all day long at home! I think books are wonderful because they can take you to all the places in the world. I sometimes think that reading a non-fiction book could be like home schooling, because we learn stuff … not just with a teacher! All of us need books to learn, grow, and be creative! When people read for the first time, it opens your mind to a whole new world. In life, books can be a REAL help for SURE … to ALL the people of the world!” ~Mya
“I think I like reading because it helps you to get knowledge. Reading is important because there are all of these great types of books … like fiction and non-fiction! I enjoy reading because reading gives you knowledge … it might even help you to find a JOB! I LOVE the non-fiction history books. I love ALL of the fiction books because fiction gives me a great imagination. Non-fiction gives me MORE knowledge!” ~Eric
“I think reading is important because you can have fun and learn more words. You can also learn lots of things … like … weaving!” ~Zahra
“We are VERY passionate about books because they can teach you stuff … almost like they are MAGIC! For example, you can learn ORIGAMI. If you couldn’t read, you wouldn’t be able to understand our BLOG! Books can take you on ADVENTURES! We LOVE Science and that’s pretty much ALL we read about in our spare time!” ~Brenden and Damian (and their stuffed animals Leopard and Rainbow … the stuffies we love to READ to!)
“Books get your BRAIN going and can help you with spelling and writing. Books give you good knowledge!” ~Alexia
“We think reading is important because it helps you write! It is important because it sometimes makes us think of ideas for writing and learning. We also think reading is important because it can teach you things like baking, crafts, about animals and how to write good stories. If someone helps you to learn how to read, it opens a whole new world. If it is realistic fiction or non-fiction, you can learn stuff like street names, food, traditions, weather, animals, and about clothes and other neat stuff!” ~Julia and Ava (and their stuffed animals Princess Amber and Buddha)
“Reading is important because it helps you to know how to sound out words and how to write. Reading can even make you read MORE books and WRITE more! Books can help you to learn stuff … you can learn about HORSES!” ~Sophie G.
“Books can teach you ANYTHING … like art, math and they can even bring you INTO the book and take you on an ADVENTURE! That is why we think books are important. They can teach you things and make you want to read even MORE! They can be special to you. Books can be interesting or sometimes pretty boring … so you have to find a book that INTERESTS you! Some other books can teach you about other countries and make you want to study MORE!” ~Larissa and Thalia (and their stuffed animals Carla and Ruby)
“Books teach us about important things like about countries, crafts, art, science, math and social studies! For example, I read a book that taught me about science, math and social studies. As a result, my science, math and social studies skills became better. Books are important to us. The brain becomes even SMARTER with books! The more BOOKS … the more SMARTS!” ~Elijah and Jun
“Books are VERY important because they help you with your vocabulary! If you come for another country and you don’t know how to speak the language … a BOOK can help you! If you read books, they will help you to learn more words. If you do not know how to SPELL a word, books are the ANSWER!” ~Jesse and Zack
“When I read a book, it pulls me in and makes my eyes pop with EXCITEMENT! I could read about twenty books and learn about FIFTY new things! It would be AWESOME if books could come to LIFE and share information just like a FRIEND! Reading makes life SO much better … by giving blue prints for the world and by keeping bookshelves completely full! Curiosity, laughter and wanting MORE comes from books! They are a BIG part of our WORLD!” ~Natasha
“Books are important because you can learn more stuff than you knew before. Sometimes, when you don’t know how to write, you can learn from books too!” ~Rijul
“I love books because you can read and learn a whole bunch of NEW stuff!” ~Julia
“We think books are important because we learn a LOT every day! Books bring us into the magical land of fairy tales. If you don’t know how to read, and someone teaches you, it opens a whole NEW world. If books didn’t exist, then we couldn’t learn as easily.” ~Max, Tormod and Henrik
“I think books are important because they can teach you things like origami and cooking … and they make learning a TON easier! If the book is about another country … that book can TAKE you there! If you couldn’t read, you couldn’t do tests, or write … you could barely do ANYTHING. For the Q’enqo kids, it is VERY special because books can take them into a whole NEW world of learning … and open new doors for them!” ~Martin (and his stuffed animal Brutus)
Our special parcel will be shipped out this weekend, full of MORE books … along with all of the “old school” library pockets, cards and date due sheets! We will send a VERY special e-mail to Geneva, containing MANY of the photos you have seen in this post … with special captions translated into Spanish … to be hung on the walls of the Q’enqo library. Cross your FINGERS for us … we hope that these pictures will ENCOURAGE our Q’enqo buddies to use their incredible new library … and to NOT be afraid of damaging the books. After all … books are to be LOVED, and READ, and REREAD … over and over again!
- Do you know of an ACCURATE English to Spanish translator that will help us to write captions on the photos we have taken in Spanish?
- Can you think of any OTHER ideas to help us build Capacity for this project?
- Have YOU learned something incredible with a book that helped to change YOUR world? (Maybe it inspired you to do a special project, or maybe it even inspired you to pursue a CAREER in the field!)