An insight into my experiences in Gawad Kalinga (GK) communities
I decided to broach the subject of the library with the teachers. I shared that in my opinion it would be best to have a near empty library rather than shelves of obsolete books. I explained that the old and inappropriate texts were actually a deterrent to reading motivation for children and that these texts blocked the children's view of more appropriate materials. Surprisingly, staff didn't need much convincing and even more surprisingly they set about rectifying the situation immediately.
Emptying the shelves was somewhat challenging as the books were not only dirty and dusty but many were disintegrating and some were infested with termites. Nevertheless, before long, the books were being sorted into three piles; the keepers, those that needed repair and the obsolete. With the now reduced stock some shelves were eliminated.
It was decided that the almost bare space needed brightening and the next day after school, staff and partners were on hand to paint a mural. The way these guys worked as a team was simply amazing, especially given that for the husbands it was a Public Holiday.
Through the generosity of family and friends, three of us were able to go shopping the next day. After 12 hours of travelling and bargain hunting we returned with lots of school resources, weary and ready for bed. However, we were back on deck over the next two days, repairing books, labelling new purchases and setting up our new space.
After much hard work by all the team and in a very short time frame, Stage 1 of the library is complete. * Now we just await the children's stamp of approval!
* Stage 2 and 3 Goals: 1. A greater range of both Tagalog and English books, including simple chapter books.
2. New paint for shelves
3. A new shelf to allow taller books to stand
If you would like to donate to Stage 2/3 please let us know :)