“In a good book room you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.”
― Mark Twain
The Grand Opening of the new La Paloma Elementary School Library was held the end of November, 2014. After months of remodeling, painting, categorizing, making book shelves, and organizing the books into simple genres, we held a book party with a piñata, food, a dance, and a ribbon cutting ceremony. All 85 children enrolled in the elementary school received a new book to take home.
“What is in our new library?” they girls wondered.
The Kids Korner has over 400 books for Preschool – 3rd grade, games, puppets, puzzles, reference materials, and a shelf for reading aloud books. The bulletin board has pictures of the Red Oak Elementary school students, their sister school.
All the children made a butterfly for the butterfly tree. I donated a DVD player and we can show audio and visual DVDs that go with sets of books. There is a volunteer box full of materials for activities when volunteers come to the library to read to the children.
I made a list of Responsive Classroom rules for the library…all very positive that we can review with the students.
The section of the library for older students has a bookcase for teachers’ materials and books, a bookcase with reference materials (atlases, encyclopedias, and other reference books), and other bookcases are filled with educational, “how-to”, history, science, mathematics, geography, and chapter book genres.
After the Opening Ceremonies with speeches by the students and teachers, it was party time!
The piñata is stuffed with candy and ready to go!
The dancing begins!
Then, each class enters the library. We review the rules, take them on a tour, and give them each a book to take home with them. The Preschoolers love their new library.
First and second graders
Third and fourth graders
The children sit quietly and read while the piñata is hung in a tree.
The piñata is beaten to death.
The Preschool girls cradle the little doll from the piñata.
Sandwiches and juice are passed around to everyone.
I am so grateful for all the donations of books, supplies, materials, and time given to help start the first La Paloma Elementary School Library. Thank you for your support and your loving kindness.
This is only the beginning. When school starts back for a new year in February, I am hiring a part-time librarian and training the librarian to work in the new library. Then, I’ll set up a volunteer program for other students, parents, grandparents, and groups that come to Puesta Del Sol to volunteer to read and do activities for the students. I even have plans to build a puppet stage for the kids.
The parents, students, and staff at the La Paloma Elementary School are extremely grateful for your support. They send you flowers and their love. Muchas gracias mis amigos.
If you are interested in how I set-up the library, please send me an email and I can give you more information. Establishing a new culture of reading is a very tricky process. It had to be done as simply as possible with a simple color coded genre system.
Stay tuned for How You Can Help. I have 21 more elementary schools on the island and I would like to start a library in every one of them.