A few months ago, I requested books from Darien Book Aid(a program that sends used children’s books to Peace Corps. Volunteers for free). To be honest our school’s English room is pretty well stocked- with young adult literature(thanks to the hard work of previous volunteers). But the little ones at our school, don’t have much age approiate reading material.
So I sent, a quick e-mail over to my friends at Darien Book Aid asking for some books for our school’s lending program and about a month later, I received a box of gently used children’s books in the mail (with a focus on Disney, fairy tales, animals, and science- exactly what we needed!).
It took me awhile to distribute the books to the school… why? Because, I wanted to make the book drop ‘extra special’ for my students. And I thought what better way then, creating the lending program right before our holiday break?
So, we talked about American holiday traditions(with a focus on Santa Claus- because the kids LOVE him) and I gave my students some ridicolously cute holiday word searches.
It was a nice break from book work and a little treat they had earned– after all the hard work they did on their exams…
Me: If you find all the words you get a sticker.
My students: Cool. WOW.
And when they finished coloring in their word searches. I took out the books donated to our school… and they were so wide-eyed. I told them, they could each take a book home to read over the winter break.
They were so excited…
Swapping stories… looking at the pictures in their books.
And yes, even skipping to the end of their stories. 🙂
Apart of our New Year’s lending program each child got a book to take home and they’ll have to write a report over the holidays on the book they took home. But, there were no complaints(about having some additional work over the break).
The kids were so excited about having new reading material… they couldn’t put their books down. Including one little girl who kept hugging the book to her chest.
My student: “Can we read more?”
Me: “Yes… but finish your new book first and then you get another one to read.”
It was a great day for them and for me…
The one thing the Peace Corps. doesn’t mention during training is that… it’s really the little things that make the biggest difference.
Little things like books about dinosaurs, Disney movies, fairy tales, and allowing your students to do word search puzzles(after a long week)…
And yes– even signing autographs for your students(when need be)
And it’s those little things during those days- when you had less-than-spectular lesson planning or less-than-stellar ideas… that you will remember most.
Thank you, Darien Book Aid for making such a big difference in the lives of my students, the children of Ukraine, and children in Peace Corps. posts around the world.I only wish you could see the joy you spread through giving reading material to kids who desperately want and need it!
Thank you for giving us all a great day!
From our corner of the world to yours- HAPPY NEW YEAR! 🙂