I just did my hour of volunteer work for the month. I sat under the awning in the middle of the parque central to read books with kids in homage to Eduardo Baez, the charismatic director of Libros para Niños who died suddenly nine days ago. It is a big loss to the community. Libros is a terrific organization that is based in Jinotepe and puts a lot of books in the hands of kids. The library in Granada that partners with LPN thought the most fitting memorial would be to read books to kids.
Plopping down a basket of books and some cushions in the middle of town brings out a different group of kids than come to the reading corners. Several children where left all day. Their moms were out selling refrescos. I sat with one girl about 9 years old who worked hard to cover up the fact that she couldn’t read. Her brother, about 10 was sounding out words on a more difficult story book and she made fun of his laborious process. At least I can read! He shot back.
Another boy who was older, maybe 12, kept his bottle of glue hidden in his shirt. I wasn’t sure what the protocol was. Am I supposed to ask him not to sniff over the books. Anyway, I figured he could use some exposure to good reading material too. He listened to the story reader for a while and then I handed him a book about snakes to read. Another little boy covered me with a wet cough while we read about elephants. He was very intent on counting all of the animals in the book. He might not have been able to read, but he was enjoying his book!
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