Attendees of the DR Missions Charity Auction heard our director, Rick Bernard, mention a new addition to the feeding program, and we thought it would be a good time to announce in on the blog. As of July, we have a brand new library!
First, we want to share a few facts that encouraged us to build this library:
The single most significant factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home prior to beginning school- National Commission of Reading
Reading aloud to children helps stimulate brain development
Children exposed to reading before preschool have a higher aptitude for learning, better grasp of language fundamentals, and enhanced concentration.
Also, we did some of our own research on the schooling level of the Bread of Life children. 53% of school age children are considered on-target for their age. 29% are more than two years below average. 18% aren’t even enrolled in school. Knowing these facts, and understanding the benefit of early reading, we set out to install a library for the children.
The library currently contains over 200 Spanish children’s books. The majority of the books are geared at early-elementary age children, but we do have a growing number of chapter books as well. We have everything from childhood classics like “Goodnight Moon” to princess stories to educational nonfiction about different career options.
We are happy to share that this library is well loved by the children. When we first brought the books over, the older girls in the Girls Home were so delighted that they stopped us in the doorway and had to look through all the books before we could put them on the shelves. Now, the library is open to all the feeding program children as well. When it is open, you can find three or four children quietly reading for hours. Many of our more rambunctious children like story time and will sit and listen with a group. We hope to grow this program in the future and instate weekly story time with the children.
(Estrella leading story time during a Vacation Bible School. The kids love hearing the stories from Jesus Storybook Bible!)