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May 20, 2019

Reading our way to improvement

We have continued our outreach reading program and related activities to the rural community of Rio Blanco on the edges of the canton of Puerto Lopez. During the school vacation in February and March we brought books to a community member’s shed where we set up tables and chairs for reading. Now that school is back in session, every Tuesday morning we ramble down the dirt road, ford the gentle White River that is the namesake of the community, carrying books and art supplies to the one room school house. The children have a hunger for books that is evident as they read the books aloud, then lean over to the students at neighboring desks and share their favorite parts of the stories with them.

One story we read was about a girl with many fantastic hats, so then we made hats using paper plates, ribbons, feathers and crayons. Each child’s work was unique and creative.

More recently we read The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and then made tree sculptures using brown paper bags, cardboard and colored paper.

Tuesday evenings we go to the Plazaleta with blankets to spread on the ground and boxes of books. A lone ceibo tree stands at the end of the plaza. The ceibo tree is currently threatened by the proposed expansion of the road. We enjoy reading with the local children under its sturdy limbs. The kids made posters expressing their love of the tree and we hung them in the Plazaleta hoping that the planned road work will be kind to the tree.

We also extended our outreach with this program "Cuentos en la Plaza" (Stories in the Plaza) by bringing literature and activities to local schools in Puerto Lopez and to an after school community project in the village of Puerto Rico.

Volunteers Pauline from France, Blerta from Albania , Giorga and Camilla from Italy, Walter and Shara from the US and Aline from Germany were very helpful in organizing and coordinating our efforts.

May 20, 2019

We celebrated Women's History and Book Month.

During the last three months, Cuentos en la Plaza - mobile libraries have visited San Vicente, Chone, Canoa, Tabuchila, as every month, we read stories, make craft and presented puppet shows.

On Febrary, we read “Lost and Found” by Oliver Jeffers, a story about a boy and a penguin who was lost, the boy decides the penguin must be lost and tries to return him. Each child drew their own penguin, accompanied by the puppet show " The Pointless Leopard: What Good are Kids Anyway?" by Colas Gutman.

On March, for Women's Month we read “Mi primer libro sobre ellas” ("My first book about them") by Marta Rivera de la Cruz, stories of 7 women dared to fight for their dreams and came even at a time when women had no right to almost anything. The craft activity was about Barbara McClintock, a botanist who loved science and found that genes can change their position at will, children learned about genetics. Also, we presented the puppet show "Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf" adapted to the book of Road Dalh.

On April, for Book's Month we read "A child of books" by Oliver Jeffers, each child wrote their own book and counted their story. The puppet play was "The Incredible Boy eating books" also by Oliver Jeffers, the story of Enrique, a boy who loved books, but not like any child may like.

We also commemorated the third anniversary of the earthquake of April 16, 2016, it is our pleasure to continue doing what we like on these sites, and especially have valuable volunteers who have allowed the project to continue after 3 years. Let's keep it going!!


Mar 22, 2019

Celebrating Noel and the New Year with books

The month of December was filled with anticipation by the children of Clara Luna's Club de Niños. We read "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein and did an activity where we made trees by twisting craft papers into trees and painting the resulting sculptures.

 The weeks before Christmas were occupied by making a festive tree from the branches of a recently trimmed tree found in a lot nearby. The children made ornaments from recycled ropes discovered on the beach and God’s Eye ornaments from popsicle sticks and yarn. Club de Niños also drew, colored and cut paper doves with three dimensional wings to decorate the tree. Club Discapacitados made triangular tree decorations from sticks and paper.

 The parents participated in a “Minga” a traditional community activity where everyone works together in a general clean up, repair and decoration of our outdoor space in preparation for the Christmas Party.

The Christmas party was well attended by the children and parents. A visit from Papa Noel was enjoyed by the everyone. The children sang Jingle Bells, We Wish You a Merry Christmas and Feliz Navidad in English. They all received gifts of a book, a small toy, sweet treats and a hug from Papa Noel.

As the new year began, we were the host to a number of volunteers from an organization named Solidarité Sud from Quebec City in Canada. With their assistance we started on the first phase of renovation to our classrooms. The walls between four small rooms were removed making a two larger teaching spaces, electricial outlets were moved, the walls were painted a bright cheerful color and new tables, chairs and bookshelves were added. The Solidarité Sud volunteers also taught crafts, read to the children and taught English.

In February we focused on the book “Las Chicas son de Ciencias” (The Women of Science) by Irene Civico and Sergio Parra. Every session we read a short biography about a notable woman of science such as Henrietta Leavitt a 19th century American astronomer, Rosalind Franklin, a 20th century English pioneer in the study of DNA, and Maria Sibylla Merian a 17th century German Naturalist, Etymologist and Botanist who using her keen observational skills revolutionized both botany and zoology

As the month ended we prepared for Carnival in early March ...more on that next time. eley 
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