The power of reading books
In December 2021, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Spanish teacher Libia started the wonderful after-school reading project in Cusco. On a local market she is reaching out to the children from families in need. The parents are working on the market, and their children don’t have a suitable place to make their homework or read a book. On weekday afternoons the kids are welcome in a room inside the market where their parents work. There they receive educational assistance from local and international volunteers. Reading books together, make homework or participate in creative classes are the possibilities.
The advantages of reading books
Reading a book or making your homework is a lot easier in a quiet environment. To be able to read you need access to a book, and possibly someone helping you out to make some progress. This project is reaching out to children from families who are economically not in the position to buy books. No access to books, or the time sit down and read with a child, is a key factor in the slow development of the reading skills. A book can bring a kid into another world, which can be adventurous, joyful and exiting. Reading stimulates the imagination and fantasy. A child can get lost in a story and develop beautiful daydreams. Reading brings children into closer contact with their fantasies, and it improves imagination and creativity. Through these qualities they can discover a magical world, which is the essence of this project.
By reading books, the children develop lots of useful skills for their daily lives. The after-school reading project, with encouragement and the explanation of words and sentences, is essential for a lot of kids. It can be very difficult to learn how to read by yourself. Next to the reading we organize art classes, to enhance the creative development of the children. These lessons spark the creative part of the brain, and increase the vocabulary and the joy to read and use a language.
Visit from the Ubuntu Family
The after-school reading project has found a partner and sponsor in July 2022. The Ubuntu Family Initiative is a platform that supports non-profit projects and sustainable travel. They recently visited the project in Cusco, where they gave a very fun Art class on how to paint the face of your friend. The kids really enjoyed it, and after the activity they received coloured pencils and a skipping-rope. The Ubuntu Family Initiative also donated some English children’s books to support the build-up of our own library. The kids are super enthusiastic to start reading books in English 😊
The cooperation between the after-school reading project, Peru Volunteer and the Ubuntu Family Initiative is to be continued in the near future. The platform wants to start offering online Art classes for the project in the local market in Cusco. Also assisting in buying materials for the creative classes, and continue to donate books for our library is on their planning.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the schools were closed for two full years. Young children fell enormously behind in the development of their reading skills and general education. By reading books and participating in art classes, this project helps children in their educational development. And it will give them the chance to develop a lifelong passion for reading books. Our dream and ambition for the future is to run this project in various markets in Cusco. Therefor we really need your help. Contact us and come to Peru to volunteer in our after-school reading project.