“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!
C. S. Lewis said, “We read to know that we are not alone.” Red Oak Elementary School students in Shakopee, Minnesota understand this need, and are graciously sharing their lives and their joy of reading with my tiny La Paloma Elementary School on Ometepe Island.
La Paloma Elementary school has three classrooms, six grades, and NO books to read for pleasure. With the generous help of the Red Oak elementary students, we are bridging the gaps in a culture that does not read by creating a library, purchasing books and library supplies, and providing training for teachers.
Elizabeth Hardwick said, “The greatest gift is a passion for reading.” It is clear in their smiles. The pleasure of reading knows no cultural boundaries.
Joy jars! What a wonderful idea. The students at Red Oak learned about the needs of other children around the world and collected money to spread the joy of reading for the children of Ometepe Island.
La Paloma Elementary School donated a small building for the library. We have so much work to do, but soon it will be a space where the children can snuggle up with a good book and experience the lasting pleasure that only comes from reading.
Volunteers from Puesta del Sol built the first tree house on Ometepe Island for the students in the La Paloma school. Now, with the help of the Red Oak elementary school students, they will have the first library available in a school on the island.
“Reading takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere.” ~Hazel Rochman
Words cannot express my love and appreciation for the awesomeness of the Red Oak Elementary school students, staff, and parents. Thank you for your gift of reading, opening windows to new worlds through books, and developing a new partnership with the La Paloma students.
Now, I have 21 more schools on the island to match with a sister school. Stay tuned for Part Three: How Can You Help? Together, with your help, we can spread the joys of reading, open windows to the world, and give the gift of reading that knows no cultural boundaries.