Earlier this year, students from Granby Memorial Middle School in Granby, Connecticut partcipated in a book drive faciitated by Sharing to Learn partner organization USACF (http://thechildrensfellowship.org/). The books that the Granby students collected, were part of a large shipment of thousands of books. When they arrived to the village, STL worked with two local primary schools to set up libraries with the donated books. Later, we connected the students of Granby to some of the students in the village, allowing the children the opportunity to connect with one another, learn about each other’s culture and customs, sharing the basic thread of life.
Children at Makuleke Primary School receive books collected by children in Granby. STL librarians distributed the books to local primary schools in the village, which allowed us to set up 2 new village libraries!
Makuleke Village High School students, Mawisa and Percy use an iPhone to Skype with Granby Memorial Middle School students in Connecticut. They participated in a Q & A, sharing their culture with their new friends.
Children at Granby, happy to connect with new friends across the world in Makuleke village!
Children at Granby Memorial Middle School Skype with Mawisa and Percy!
On Thursdays, Mildred leads the Xitsonga Story Hour at our community library. Children read and discuss books in their local language, Xitsonga.
A Kindergarten student at Sousa Elementary School, in Long Island, New York, cradles a doll from Makuleke Village, made out of recycled bags. In January, children at Sousa learned about life and culture in the village through the toys that the children in the community make and use. The children at Sousa also learned about Sharing to Learn’s library building initiatives for the impoverished community and wanted to share their favorite class books with children in the village. We brought their favorite picture book selects, as well as their class-made books introducing themselves to their new friends, our little community library in March.
New Books at the Makuleke Library, thanks to Kindergarten friends at Sousa Elementary School (Long, Island, New York)
We are so proud of Beverly Vista School and their efforts to raise money for Sharing to Learn’s libraries in South Africa, by holding a Read-a-Thon at their school last month. Children in grades Pre-K thru Grade 5 participated by reading to one another during the school day. They raised over $1,500 during their event, which will not only help us fund our village libraries for two months, but also sponsor a child in STL’s Mentor Program to receive a nutritional food supplement for twelve months. We are so very proud of this school’s efforts to help support our work and vision for all children to have equal access to quality education.
A Reflection on the Read-a-Thon by Grade 5 Student Sarah:
MY SHARING TO LEARN EXPERIENCE
Recently, my teacher Mr. Milliken informed our class that we would be participating in the “Sharing to Learn” program by reading to the Beverly Vista preschoolers. Upon hearing this, many of my classmates let out and excited “YES!” Last year in fourth grade we did the same every week, so many students had some experience with the already. When it was time we walked downstairs to the preschool and the class was split up to go into the three different classrooms. When we entered, fond memories of being that age filled my head and I’m sure some of my classmates head too. My friend Emily and I were standing next to each other and became partners. A preschool teacher brought up over to an area where two little cuties were sitting ready for us to read to them. Before we started, the teacher brought us a couple of pictures books to read to them. We introduced ourselves, asked the two their names, and I started reading “Rollie Pollie Ollie.” Soon after, it was Emily’s turn and she began to read. To ensure that the two preschoolers were following along we kept asking them questions such as “Where do you think Spot is now?” and “Rollie Pollie Ollies favorite color is purple. Is that your favorite color too?” Soon, I became melancholy because it was time for us fifth graders to leave. I really enjoyed this Sharing to Learn experience and hope we and do it again.
Toys have the amazing ability to bring children together from far corners of the world, to learn with one another, to share with one another, to be with one another…
Friends at the American International School of Lisbon Skype with Denise and share the stories that they have written for their friends in Makuleke, South Africa!
All I’m saying is simply this, that all life is interrelated, that somehow we’re caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.
—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
Love is my family
Love is a smile
Love is everything
Love is the warm sun
Love is my friends and teachers
Love is the people in Africa
Love is in my heart
Love is the best thing in the world
Love is the colors of rainbow.