browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Learning How to Build Capacity

Posted by on April 20, 2012


We want the children in Q’enqo to see how much FUN reading can be, so we are going to HELP Mosqoy build CAPACITY!

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!

Signing out Library books the "OLD SCHOOL" way ... it seems kinda FUN!

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.

Wow ... I think we would ALL like to sign our books out this way ... espedcially if we get to stamp the date DUE each time!

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”!

These supplies will make it SO much easier for the Q’enqo community to keep track of their books!

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

We are lucky ... and we KNOW we are lucky ... we have MANY books to choose from when EVER we want!

“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 

We LOVE reading ... and learn SO much about the WORLD when we read!

“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 will SHARE our love for reading by sending PICTURES of us reading to Q'enqo to HANG in their LIBRARY!

“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 open the doors to SO many new adventures!

“Books get your BRAIN going and can help you with spelling and writing.  Books give you good knowledge!”  ~Alexia 

Fiction ... NON-fiction ... the sky is the LIMIT!

“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)

Books can be enjoyed TOGETHER ... or ALONE!

“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 be enjoyed in a CHAIR ... or ... on the FLOOR!

“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 can take you to places you've NEVER been!

“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 can bring you peace and happiness!

“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

Good books are like good FRIENDS!

“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)

Books hold SUCH a special place in our hearts ... we will SHARE our love for reading with the Q'enqo students!

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!

We wonder:

  • 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!)

9 Responses to Learning How to Build Capacity

  1. Sarah K

    First, that is NOT old fashioned! That is how I signed out books in school!! 😀
    Second, I loved all of your reasons for why you love reading: to learn, to be transported to another place, to help with writing, to feel different emotions, and so on. Those are all such great reasons. I love that all of you love to read. It is something you will do and enjoy for your whole life. And there is a whole world of books out there to discover and devour!
    Third, I think your idea of sending photos, books and supplies is a wonderful start to building capacity. Those photos especially will help normalize the library so that it is not so scary or nerve-wracking. I wonder if you could make a short movie showing some of you choosing books from your library, checking them out, reading them, etc? Maybe Geneva could show the movie to the kids in Q’enqo on her laptop?
    Fourth, books that shaped who I am today: The Secret Garden, Island of the Blue Dolphin, Anne of Green Gables, The Nancy Drew series, Little House on the Prairie, and The Power of One…and SOOO many more! Books made me want to travel and now I have seen some amazing places all over the world.

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hola, Sarah!

      Thank you so much for your two awesome comments! We LOVED the humour in your first two sentences … Mrs. Renton did a great imitation of WHAT that would have sounded like … because we KNOW you’re VERY young … so … it is HARD for us to believe that you EVER had to sign books out in the “Old School” way!!! 😉

      We LOVE your suggestion about making a small movie to send to Geneva and Ashli. Actually, we were thinking the exact same thing. We’ve put a bunch of pictures of us together … along with english and spanish to explain the signing out process using cards and date stamps … and … our next step will be to put a little video together. Geneva is heading back to Victoria soon, but Ashli and Sarah will be heading off to Peru in May. We hope that they will be able to share this video with the Q’enqo students when they visit the library.

      Elijah was saying, the other day, that he read a book that has made him want to be a physisist … he wants to study physics! Some of us have read books about animals … and would LOVE to be veterinarians! We love that books made you want to travel. What is the COOLEST place you’ve ever visited? Is there a place that you have READ about that you STILL want to travel to? What is your FAVOURITE children’s book?

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  2. Ms. Emann

    Hi from Brazil Global Grade 3s!
    What a fabulous post as always! I am thrilled that you found some of the book cards and card pockets to send to the new library. I think this is a great way to help keep the Q’enqo library organized and help make the job easier when they receive more books (which we know they will!). I really believe the saying “a picture is worth a 1000 words” so I am hopeful the terrific action shots of you reading and using books will share a great message with the students in Q’enqo.

    I too love to read and I read to learn new things, understand questions I have, explore other people’s ideas, and to escape to different worlds and different times. I love reading historical fiction books because they have some information about the past but also tell a story at the same time…it is like a combination of fiction and nonfiction. I loved Little House on the Prairie books when I was younger because it was a story set in the past and it also had many books in the series. I love a series because when I get attached to the characters I don’t have to say goodbye to them when the first book is finished. As a teacher I am so lucky to be able to read books with my students and share great stories that we discover on our library shelves. A series that I found a few years ago that I really love is the Guardians of Ga’hoole and when I read the first one together with my grade four class we were all swept away into the magical adventurous world of owls. We could not put it down and never wanted the bell to ring at the end of the day signaling the end to our reading time. That is a sign of a great book I think!

    Have any of you read any of these series? Are there other series that you recommend?

    I am thinking about you a lot while I am away and we will set up a time to Skype this week maybe. I was at the beach today playing in sand that was so fine it reminded me of brown sugar. The waves were quite big and I was able to watch some very skilled surfers riding the waves. Amazing! It is exciting to see all the different plants and flowers here that I do not recognize from Canada and to hear all of the beautiful bird songs and calls. Talk to you soon!

    Ms Emann

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Dear Ms. Emann,

      Thank you for your magnificent comment. It is amazing how different countries have so many different plants and animals. Brazil sounds like a pretty cool place. We loved your description of the sand. We miss you a ton. Just like you, we are looking forward to our Skype. It will have to be next week, though, because Friday is our Celebration of Learning. We wonder: are there any cool bridges in Brazil? If there are … have you been on them and what type are they? If there are any, maybe you could send us some pictures. What season is it there right now?

      We like the novel The Indian in the Cupboard … we just finished reading it. We watched the movie the other day. The movie was fantastic … but the book had more information … and some of the events were a lot different in the movie. Some of us are going to try to find book two to read at home. Many of us love Diary of a Wimpy Kid, War Dog, A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Magic Treehouse, The Titanic, A-Z Mysteries, The Chronicals of Narnia, Pony Pals and some of our older siblings are reading The Hunger Games at home.

      Say hi to Sarah and your neice and nephews for us. We hope to get to meet them when we Skype.


      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  3. Ross Mannell

    Hello again, Global Grade 3.

    My comment would have been too long to add here as it includes some pictures regarding Spanish translation. Here is a link to the post I wrote for you…

    Teacher, NSW, Australia

  4. The Grade Three Bloggers

    Hi Ross!

    Thank you SO much for your incredibly thoughtful comment, as ALWAYS – you just always put SO much time and thought into the comments you leave for us! Together, as a class, we wrote you an extensive reply, posted it on YOUR blog site and lost it on ours … so … here’s to keeping our fingers crossed that the comment we left with you gets through!

    We loved ALL of your suggestions … and although we’ve never used the google translator in the SAME way as you’ve suggested, we have had some good luck with that particular translator. You are right, though, translating into Spanish is challenging and the words do get changed around in order. We tried out THREE of our ELEVEN posters for the Q’enqo library … using your “technique” and discovered that it was pretty accurate. You are right … the shorter the phrases and sentences, the easier it is to work through. We will continue to work through your process with the other eight posters … and hope that it is really going to inspire our Q’enqo buddies!

    Thanks, Ross – we will keep checking your blog out to see if our other comment worked! Thank you, ALSO, for really contributing to our learning – you enrich this global process for us every time you leave your thoughts and encouragement!

    The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  5. Reva

    Dear Grade Three Bloggers,

    Hi, my name is Scott and Reva from Qualicum Beach is my grandmother. I am 12 years old and I live in Lima, Peru. I attend Grade 7 (Form I) at Newton College, which is a British School in Lima. I study English, Spanish, Mathematics, Physical Education, Information Technology, Peruvian History & Geography, World History and Geography, and Theatre. School starts at 7:45am and ends at 3:05pm. I usually ride in a “combi” which is a small van used to transport kids to school. I practice rugby after school twice a week, and I also play the “charango” in the School Band. The charango is a small guitar, a typical Bolivian/Peruvian instrument from the mountains, and it looks like a Cuban guitar. I also play the drums at my house with my instructor once a week.

    There are 5 people in my family counting me. I have three dogs too, their names are Taco, Nuit, and Dima. We live in the hills of Lima, called La Molina. In summer I go the beach every weekend, and in winter I stay at home on the weekends and watch movies and play my Playstation.

    The typical food of Peru is ceviche (which is fish marinated in lemon with peppers, onions and on some occasions with corn and lettuce on the side), and the typical drink is Pisco. The potato is from Peru. A typical dish from the mountains of Peru is guinea pig, which is called “cuy” by Peruvians. I have never eaten cuy, but my dad has tried it and he told me it was greasy and tastes like chicken He ate cuy at a lady’s house very high in the mountains, and the cuys were running around her house a.s pets just before dinner, then she fried them. Peru is also famous corn with many kinds (size colour taste) available, including purple corn which is used to make “chicha morada”, a popular drink.

    Lima is the capital of Peru, and is a huge city with nearly 10 million people. It is an ancient city and has existed for over 1,000 years as part of the Inca Culture. Lima was also the early capital of Spanish America. Lima is located on the Pacific Coast and has many nice beaches. In Lima the traffic is heavy in the mornings and at night. Drivers use their horns all day and the buses are very old.

    I like to visit Canada because I feel safer when driving and I like my grandmother’s cookies.

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Scott!

      Thank you SO much for your awesome message! I am absolutely THRILLED that you took the time to comment on our Grade Three blog! I know my students will be SO excited when they read it – you’ve included so much amazing information for them! We will write back to you on Monday morning when we are back in class! It sounds like you have some pretty cool experiences living in Peru … and my students will learn SO much from you! Enjoy your Grandma’s cookies … maybe she will bake some for you to take home! 😉

      Laurie Renton 🙂

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Scott!

      Thank you for your wonderful comment! We are sorry we didn’t comment yesterday … we just ran out of time. The comment that you sent to us was very interesting. Please don’t worry about telling us about the guinea pigs … we learned THAT one way back at the beginning of the year! When we first found out that many people eat guiinea pigs in Peru, many of us were VERY sad because some of us have them as pets! We had a great discussion about how people all over the world eat LOTS of different stuff. Mrs. Renton even told us about how the AZTECS raised chihauhaus hundreds of years ago … and they ate THEM! We know that in India cows are sacred … and many people will not eat them … but … many of us DO eat beef … which comes from cows. Some of us have tried dog, goat, fish, crocodile, sheep, bull, shark, snake, eel, chocolate covered crickets, rabbit, black pudding, turtle, cockroach and even FROG!!! We wonder what the STRANGEST thing YOU’VE ever eaten is?

      Because you live in Lima, and you’ve told us so many interesting things about your life in Peru … we have some MORE questions for you … we hope you are up for answering them for us … we know we can learn a ton from you because you LIVE there!

      We wonder:

      – How long have you lived in Lima?
      – What is YOUR favourite Peruvian drink?
      – What is your FAVOURITE Peruvian food?
      – Do you play any traditional Peruvian games? If so, which ones?
      – How old are your brothers and sisters?
      – Do you think you will ever try guinea pig?
      – What is your favourite Canadian dish … besides your Grandma’s awesome cookies?
      – Do you prefer Canadian style or Peruvian style cooking?
      – Do you ever watch soccer (football)?
      – What’s the COOLEST thing to do in Lima?
      – Have you ever been to the Nazca Lines … if so … what was it like?
      – Have you ever been to Machu Picchu … if so … what was it like?

      Thank you, Scott – we REALLY look forward to hearing back from you!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

Leave a Reply