Jill spent time thinking of how to encourage children to visit the library and borrow more books - never an easy challenge!
I had a wonderful time and felt accepted and welcome. The girls who looked after volunteers' needs, Kaliyani, Marthu, Ferista, Uma- they were great! The volunteer program seems well established and I felt directed in what to do. I even got to play a soccer game with the older boys!
I loved spending time there, I greatly admire Peter's work and it was wonderful to talk and spend time with him. My time was short, but I think of Ave Maria school and shelter home often, and wonder how I will be able to help in the future.
The children don't have easy access to the books - everything is filed nicely, but not displayed in a way that would grab kids attention. If I was in charge of the library here's what I would start with: spreading the books around so that many covers are visible would catch attention! Having one day a week for each classroom to visit the library to select one book to bring back to the classroom. Even laying mats on the floor and spreading books out, arranging them on tables, etc, to make the cover show. Each day in the classroom allot a certain number of minutes to reading ones chosen book, even just 10-20 minutes, so that at the end of their week, the children may look forward to returning the book they have finished and selecting a new one. The point is to encourage love of reading, so if the students want to chose an information book or a comic book it would be entirely up to them!