Reading is a massive quality in life. But to be passionate about reading comes with a lot more benefits. Our Spanish teacher started the after-school reading program for children in a local market in Cusco. The mothers of the participating children work in the market. The kids are running around and playing, or try to make their homework in a noisy environment. Learning how to read, or read a book which is challenging, requires concentration and a calm and low-impulse surrounding. Every afternoon we have access to a room in the market, where we help children to develop a passion for books and reading.
Volunteers can help in many different ways in the reading after-school program. The kids are between five and twelve years old. It is important that a kid reads a book corresponding to his/her level. Not too difficult, but also challenging enough. Volunteers motivate the kids and applaud their efforts. You help them understand words and sentences.
We are collecting books to build up a small library, so there is enough to read. Reading is such an important skill, and the children will benefit in many different ways. It is a mental stimulation for your brain, and it expands the vocabulary. It improves the memory, focus and concentration. These skills will all be vital in the educational path of the children.
The after-school reading project started out with three afternoon per week, in one market. Because of the current presence of two volunteers, the project is able to operate five times per week. Our long-term goal is to start this project in another market, and try to scale up from there. This will only be possible with the help of enough volunteers. The after-school reading project can be combined with Spanish classes or one of our other projects.
Possible impact of the after-school reading project