One year ago we applied with International Book Project to receive books sent to us in Honduras. We are excited to now see all the hard work come to fruition!
We are about to receive two pallets filled with over 5,000 books. The books include children's books, text books, workbooks and instructional books in both English and Spanish. Once the books arrive, we will be transporting those books all across the country to different schools who have applied for our school library programs.
Our $5,000 for 5,000 books Campaign is now at 60% of completion! We've gathered the books, and now we just need your help finishing this campaign to get those books transported across Honduras. That means only 40 people to donate $50, or 20 people to donate $100. All of it adds up! How can you help chip in today??
Five years ago, Community Health Partnership- Honduras (CHPH) came to visit La Florida, La Paz with Chispa Project testing the waters for a new site to bring medical brigades. Since then, Chispa and CHPH have worked together as two new and growing non-profits to support each other in resources and connections. This year, that support showed up in the waiting room.
Hundreds of people gather each day in the large community center waiting for their turn to see one of the medical brigade doctors who work along side local medics to provide integral care. They sometimes wait all day just see a specialist. So this year, while waiting, Chispa Project set up a reading corner. We talked with parents about the importance of reading, lent books out, and provided activities to the children using stories books to promote self-esteem, and to reduce stress and anxiety. The children had fun while reinforcing reading habits through shared reading between peers, reading aloud, creating their own stories (written or drawn).
CHPH also provides trainings for the health promoter volunteers to take back health information to their local villages. This year, Chispa also participated with a training on how families can promote reading habits in young children even if there are not books home.
Thanks CHPH for the invitation, and we look forward to the next brigade in October!
Meet Tim. He is a volunteer at Santa Monica Bilingual School in Cofradía, Honduras with BECA (Bilingual Education in Central America). This year he realized a major need for helping his students with reading comprehension was class sets. So, he started somewhat like we did: knocking on the doors of friends and family. All in all, Tim raised a $1,000 and then got in touch with us.
The best part of being a small organization is we can do more with less. Partnering with Tim and being incredibly resourceful like we are, we were able to get 22 class sets of books in bilingual and English books. It was almost like Christmas unloading the 500 books, minus the stifling 96 degree heat of North Honduras in the summer.
Tim's only extra specific request? To also bring his personal favorites to add to the school library: A to Z Mysteries and the Magic Treehouse series. Any other fans out there? Give a holler!
Congratulations, Tim, and being a great example how a spark can go a long way. Contact us if you are interested in fundraising for a specific literacy project in Honduras that we can help partner with you and make your donation go further.
Here in Honduras, and not uncommon in other places, it is customary to think that teachers should entirely responsible for the education of children. Especially in more rural areas, many parents defer to the authority of the teachers because they have more formal education than the parents. This is problematic because in the end, parents know their children the best and have the ability to be their child's best teacher.
This week we have the unique opportunity to partner with BECA (Bilingual Schools in Central America) in their "Libros y Familias" event ("Books and Families"). During the event, students get to choose a book in Spanish to take home that were donated in partnership with BECA and Chispa Project.
Parents attended a presentation that covered 3 main points:
1) Reading is Important
2) Parents are their children's best teachers
3) Ways to help reading abilities at home
We laughed, we made fun of the U.S. presenter's Spanish, and parents shouted out how they knew reading was important. In the end we concluded the following: in order to help our children have the option to be the best they can be, they need a base of good education and that starts at home and with good reading habits.
After a short but necessary vacation of Semana Santa (Easter week vacation), we returned to our job promoting reading. On this occasion, we had the opportunity to share reading strategies through our workshop with 31 teachers of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos, a children's home just outside of Tegucigalpa. We shared practical ways to teach more creatively, classroom management, and techniques for reading aloud.
Chispa Project was invited to do this day-long workshop as part of NPH's Dia del Libro celebrations with their school library. We were grateful for the opportunity to share with teachers who not only have a passion for teaching, but also being a part of the web of support provided to these children.
Dia del Libro came early this year to Florida, Opatoro, as we celebrated before the Easter rush. With more than 400 students attending and approximately 200 parents and volunteers, Dia del Libro was a great success!
Our theme this year was "Reading is an Adventure." Students were given "passports" and then attended activities to receive stamps in their passports for their participation. The ten activity stations each included a different type of book and theme. One of the most population stations read a book about snow and then cut their own snow flake. A second favorite was the station that did a puppet show on the Three Billy Goats Gruff and then each child learned about “characters” and got to pick a character to make their own paper bag puppet. Another station used a flashlight and punched cards to shine images of star constellations on the walls of blacked out room and told the relating ancient Greek story. A third book was a how-to book showing how to draw after reading a children’s book of a budding artist who didn’t give up.
We also created activities using the strengths of our volunteers who ran the activities. A scientist ran the station about static electricity. The students then read a book that walked them through a balloon experiment using a balloon and demonstrating the way static electricity both had negative and positive forces. A Honduran author came along and read part of the book “Corduroy.” He stopped halfway through the story and the children became the “authors” and wrote their own ending. Some of our middle school volunteers preformed a play they had written about how reading evokes different emotions.
The schools had also spent the weeks before Día selecting finalists to enter in the read-out-loud competition and an art competition for why they liked to read. They used books from their new school libraries to participate. Several children arrived in costumes, and one even scared the judges when she pretended to faint in conjunction with the story line. Community members arrived to watch the competitions and judges were also selected locally including one Honduran artist.
Check out the photos below to see the activities and all our awesome volunteers!
Help! As we start to put the finishing touches on the first school libraries, we are hoping to invite our artist friends to help us create posters to decorate the libraries. Read more below about what we are looking for, and if you might be able to help!
The posters should be 13" x 19" and give us permission to copy and hang in the spaces of the books we've donated. We're looking for creative ways to excite the students about reading or how to treat the books. Thanks for considering!
¡Ayuda! Como empezamos a terminar las primeras bibliotecas escolares, queremos invitar a nuestros amigos artistas ayudarnos a crear carteles para decorar las bibliotecas. Lee más abajo acerca de lo que buscamos ¡y si está disponible a ayudarnos!
Los carteles deben ser 13" x 19" y darnos el permiso a copiarlos y colgarlos en los espacios de donde están los libros donados. Buscamos maneras creativas a animar a los estudiantes acerca de la lectura o como debemos tratar los libros. ¡Gracias por su consideración!
In Honduras the school year has started again, however, absence in the classroom is perceived. Because many of the students are still cutting coffee, this is an activity that is being carried out by many families in this region, living mainly from the seasonal income of the coffee crop to survive the whole year.
While we were waiting for the students, we had a meeting with the school principals and the superintendent where we talked about the programs Chispa has already implemented in the Opatoro Sur community, La Paz, Honduras, on mobile library rotation and A possible book fair focused on promoting reading.
We are very excited because they are ready to continue the rotation!
This is a brief log of some of our projects! Check back frequently for updates.