Lidia leads an activity in the library
It’s only been four months since the library at Patzilin Ab'aj Primary School got a makeover through Pueblo a Pueblo’s Pathways to Literacy project. In April, Lidia Quiejú, Pathways to Literacy project manager, went to work outfitting the library with new books and training the school’s librarian to catalogue the new collection. She also introduced students to RACHEL, an electronic library program for reading, researching, and exploring educational resources online.
In May, Lidia started leading activities in the library (including the World Book Day storytelling celebration you may have read about in our last project report). First, she led short lessons to model different ways that teachers can use the library and its resources during their classes. Then, the teachers took over and started leading their own activities—at this point, just about every class at the school, from history to math, has taken a trip to the library!
Lidia believes that you can tell a successful library by its students. And she's encouraged to see that the students at Patzilin Ab'aj love their library! Each day at the beginning of students’ recess period, the school librarian, Clara Eugenia, is greeted by kids asking, “What day is it? What are we doing today?” Each day of the week has a certain theme. Mondays and Thursdays are storytelling days, when Clara Eugenia reads a book aloud. Tuesdays and Fridays are game days, when she teaches students to play a new game, like dominoes, or pulls out a big jigsaw puzzle for kids to work on together. And Wednesdays are art days, when she leads students in an art project.
The older students at the school love taking books home with them—and they’ve gotten their younger siblings hooked too! Some of the youngest students at Patzilin Ab'aj come to the library, and even though many of them are too young to read, they pull books off the shelf, turn the pages, and make up their own stories about the characters in the illustrations. There are often a couple of moms in the library too—they’ve come to sign out books for their younger children, who haven’t learned to write their names yet. It’s safe to say that the Patzilin Ab'aj library is a lively place!
The goal of this project is literacy—it’s in Lidia’s job title, after all—but it is just as important to her that the students at Patzilin Ab'aj develop a love for reading, writing, and storytelling. Kids who spend time in the library playing games and making art, who make up stories even before they’re old enough to read them, are kids who are likely to reach literacy and reap its lifelong benefits.
Students work on a group activity during recess
Older students participate in a writing activity
Students of all ages come to the library to read!