We believe community-created libraries can fundamentally transform learning environments at schools. Books broaden horizons, open minds and inspire creativity.
The Francisco Morazan school is also a one-teacher school, located in the small community of La Florida which has just 134 inhabitants, most of whom work in subsistence agriculture. The village can be found just north of the city of Catacamas, Olancho. Nerry Molina, who teaches the 24 students from 1st through 6th grade, says he does everything he can to promote reading. “I believe that students’ personalities are formed through reading, motivating them to participate responsibly in the community.”
As there is no secondary school in the village, Nerry also informally teaches students in grades 7-9 two days a week.
But resources are limited. As a public school, they rely on state funding which is often non-existent. Nerry purchases paper and does photocopies in Catacamas out of his own pocket. But with the implementation of this library, Nerry already has big plans for his students! One hour of class each day will be dedicated to reading in the classroom, and on Thursdays at 3pm, students will meet in groups throughout the village to read. Because of how rural La Florida is, students will meet in 5 separate geographic areas throughout the community, with students of varying reading levels in each group, and there they will have reading circles and will be able to read with their parents as well. Some of the 7-9th grade students will lead these groups.
The books at this library will be a mix of fiction and nonfiction, and for all primary school reading levels. Books have been selected that educate children about the world and about subjects like taking care of the environment, nutrition, and gender equality. We have also been working to put together a list of books that include classic Latin American stories with characters that the children at this school will be able to relate to: children with brown and black skin, families who work in agriculture, and stories from Central American folklore.
- The Francisco Morazan primary schools approached us for support with this projects and we have worked with Nerry Molina and other members of the community to come up with a project implementation plan.
- Nerry, along with other Honduran and international teachers, worked with us to come up with a preliminary list of books.
- Currently, the school is working with the local community to raise a small portion of funds to cover the costs of shelves and transportation. We do this so that the community feels a sense of ownership and responsibility over their library from the very beginning.
- The school is also working to create a plan for their library: how do they want the space to look? How exactly will the library be used on a day-to-day basis? Will it be open to anyone (e.g. students’ families and other members of the community) or only to students?
- In july 2019, each school will help to set up their library space and will also organize a library inauguration party for the community. educate.representatives will organize the transportation of all books and other materials to each school and will also be a part of this process.