Rural Ed Looking for Children’s Books in Spanish
By Maureen Radl
Reading is one of the key skills for a full life, including employment. Children living in the campo have limited access to books other than the textbooks used in the schools, and literacy levels are lower than their urban counterparts—as low as fewer than two books per year. Some classrooms may have a few well-worn books that children share, but most public schools don’t have libraries.
You, however, can help to remedy this by donating new or used children’s books in Spanish at the table Libros para Todos will be sharing with PEN International at the Writers’ Conference in the lobby of the Hotel Real de Minas near the registration table from February 10 through 14.
The Rural Education Institute of Mexico, Inc., with encouragement from Libros para Todos, will use the donated books to start another new library at the community center that Rural Ed is currently constructing in collaboration with the Don Diego community three kilometers outside San Miguel, on the Celaya side of Los Frailes. This will be the third center (in addition to Jalpa and La Palma) created by Rural Ed in partnership with rural communities outside of San Miguel where it has built or converted community centers into classrooms with libraries and computer labs to promote literacy, computer skills, and English for youth 8 to 18 years old.
The Rural Education Institute, Inc., is a registered 501(c)(3) in the US and a registered AC as Instituto de educación en el campo mexicano, AC. It works in rural communities to address the problem of educational inequality and high dropout rates, which result in only 12 percent of rural youth acquiring at least nine years of education. Rural Ed encourages school attendance and lifelong learning through enrichment programs in leadership, literacy, computers, English, the arts, culture, and other employability skills.
Encouraging the joy of reading by making books available to primary and secondary school children can have a profound influence on their future. Please share the gift of reading that so many of us take for granted by donating books in Spanish that can open a child’s mind to a new world of wonder and possibilities. Put your donated books in the “Rural Ed Box” at the Libros para Todos table at the Writers’ Conference.
For additional information on the Rural Education Institute of Mexico, go to www.ruraledmexico.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on Libros para Todos, which gives more than 500 books by the same author to rural youth to read before meeting and discussion with the author, go to www.makingreaders.org.