On Tuesday, I went on a tour with an organization called Libros para Pueblos. They create public libraries in the pueblos. Part of the trip was to encourage us to become sponsors of a library. The cost is $600 per year, and they require a commitment of five years.
The tour is a great way to demonstrate the work. We visited two school libraries (usually the libraries are in community centers) and had a chance to meet with the principals, active parents, and students. I was particularly impressed by how excited the students were about getting new books to read. At one of the schools, the principal explained that the government does not give schools books to promote reading for fun. The money os spent on textbooks only.
I had a chance to sit with the children and to allow them to ask me questions about where I come from, whether I like Mexico, whether I have children, and so on. I asked them about what books they like to read; they like animal stories and things about space, the human body, drawing.
They seemed happy that my Spanish was adequate enough to throw out and receive questions. Timid at first, they were polite, introduced themselves, and shook my hand. As they were leaving, they also shook my hand.
At the second school, we were introduced to a young woman, probably fourth or fifth grade, who had read one-hundred books.
The library had a profound effect on my childhood, and I can see that the work of this organization is responding to the needs of communities. http://www.librosparapueblos.org