The past 2 months have been absolutely incredible. I have fallen in love with each one of my students, I am able to communicate (not very well, and not all the time) in another language, and I've gained a newfound respect for every teacher I've ever met. As corny as it sounds, Honduras has given me so many reasons to smile. But with that, I've also had many moments of frustration. The biggest problem is with the library. It's smaller than my room at my house, and it's barely half filled with books. There are a few reference books on each subject, some old magazines, and only one or two shelves for books the girls would enjoy reading. Every Wednesday my two grades have Taller de Lectura (Reading Workshop) where they pick out a book from the shelf and read for an hour. For most of the girls, this is the only time they read for fun during the week. I'm not sure that they have a strong desire to read, but when they do get a book they actually enjoy, it's hard for them to put it down. The problem is, there aren’t many books for the girls to read, and the school doesn't have enough money to afford new books. The other day, a girl from my segundo ciclo, Angeles, was looking for a book to read. You should know that Angeles is very intelligent. She is one of those girls in the class who isn't allowed to answer questions after a certain point because the other students need to answer too. And she loves to read. Actually, love is an understatement. The other day I had to take away her book during class because she was reading instead of paying attention (though I doubt I was teaching anything she didn't already know). When she was looking for a book the other day, she picked up The Giving Tree. I told her she wasn't allowed to read that book because it was far too easy. She started to complain until she opened it up and saw that there were only 1 or 2 sentences on each page. (She read the entire Harry Potter series last year.) So I handed her A Wrinkle in Time. She didn't want to read it, but I told her if she doesn't like it after a few pages, she could get a new one. About 15 or 20 minutes later I found her 2 chapters into the book, and absolutely loving it. She finished it 2 days later. She found a new book during Taller de Lectura this week, and later on that day I found her half way through reading it. Digna, another bright gem in my segundo ciclo (who is best friends with Angeles) says that she doesn't like books, but she likes the book she's reading. I got her to admit that she actually does like books, but it has to be a good page-turner book. The point is, the girls love to read! More importantly, they NEED to read. I hope I don't have to write any more sentences to convince you of the importance of reading - we all know how important it is for kids to read.
I'm not solely writing this to voice a concern, however, I would also like to ask for a bit of help. If you find it in your heart to help the girls out, and if your wallet finds itself with a few extra bucks, check out the schools "Wish List" on Amazon.com. The link is posted below. You can purchase a book on the list, and it will be sent directly to the school. The only thing you have to worry about is which one to pick out. Of course the only this I ask from everyone reading this is your support in my year here, no gifts are required. Although my birthday is coming up in early May and if you'd like to buy one of the books as a present this year, I'll guarantee I'll like yours the most. Thank you so much in advance, but most importantly thank you for all of the support you have given me thus far.
PS - I told Angeles about the wish list and she got pretty excited.