It’s hard to get books in Honduras- even in large cities. That’s why we partnered with the Honduras-based NGO Chispa Project to start a library at the Adrian Mejia public elementary school, located in a community outside the city of El Progreso. “Chispa” is the Spanish word for spark, and they aim to “spark a desire for lifetime learning” through books. Chispa Project founds libraries across Honduras using a community-driven development approach, training teachers and communities to use the libraries and books effectively and involving them throughout the process so that they take on full ownership and responsibility of the project.
A library committee was formed at the school who worked to plan and design the library. The community came together the weekend before the inauguration to put together shelves, paint a mural on the library wall, and organise the books into levels with stickers and a full inventory. The day before the inauguration, a full day was devoted to a teacher training workshop, and a week later a session was held with parents.
Each glass, from grades 1 through 6, visits the library once a week, during which time each student checks out one book to keep in their classroom to read until the next library visit. The library is also open to the wider community, allowing older students and even parents and other community members to come in to read and enjoy the library space.
educate. provided $3,000 US dollars towards this project, helping to cover the costs of:
- 700 culturally-relevant Spanish- language books of various reading levels
- Woven reed mats
- Organisational materials: stickers, an inventory, support in the creation of a lending system etc.
- Teacher training workshops on how to teach effectively with books.
- A parent workshop on how to use books and share at home techniques to incentivize reading for children.
- A workshop with the children on how to use and care for the books.
- Support for the school’s library committee (a group that leads the project at the school) to facilitate the implementation of the library.
- And of course an inauguration party!
This video gives an idea of the teacher training workshop and why it was so crucial to the project’s success.
This video, made during the fundraising process, shows some of educate.‘s board members talking about why this was such an important project for us.