Every week at the English Institute (that we run at Orphanage Outreach) the kids have library day. Each class has about a half hour to visit the library, sing “grammar raps,” listen to a book readings, and take out books.
Let me explain what a rarity this it… there are some public libraries here in the Dominican, but they do not allow anyone to take out books. You can “check them out” and sit at the library to read the books or use them to do your homework, but no one is allowed to bring books home. The kids love to take books home and read them, draw stories from them, and share them. And they actually bring the books back.
Although everything at the English Institute is normally in English exclusively, there is a section of books in Spanish, as well as a bilingual sections, to encourage a of love reading, which is usually best nurtured in your first language. I was delightfully surprised by just how interested the kids were as I read them a Dr. Suess book. They all inched their seats closer. They pointed out that I had missed a line. They did not want to leave.
Reading is such a important part of childhood. I am so grateful that my mother read to me, let me read to her, and encouraged me to love reading.