10 Jun CYEC and Penn State in the News!
Saturday was the culmination of weeks of hard work and months of planning for the Human Development Team. We finished the children’s books, carefully printed their drawings, retyped their words, wrote dedications, and added decorations. On Saturday we also had the privilege of returning these young authors’ work to them. We pressed the books into excited, cupped hands and watched smiles unfold as the children saw their words in print.
I asked a few of the children what they planned to do with their books. Many wanted to show them off to their teachers and friends at school. Some we hope will be contributed to the CYEC’s new library.
That’s right. The same day as we returned our books, Azali Kenya, an organization striving to increase literacy in Kenya through reading, donated over a hundred books to kick start a reading culture initiative at the CYEC. Dusty empty shelves were filled with books- from picture books to teen romances. In Kenya, the representative from Azali told us, most students stop reading actively once they pass their exams. They’ve finished reading textbooks and haven’t been exposed to much fiction. On Saturday, a local official cut the ribbons on the library door and book shelves, as kids played with balloons and flipped through new pop-up books.
One girl, Margrete, told us more specifically about her motivation for writing her story, “Fate of Love.” “I love reading novels, and so I wanted to create my own, with realistic characters and a long, exciting plot.” Well, Margrete, we hope the new books inspire you to keep developing your gifts. I retract the opening statement of this post. Saturday wasn’t the culmination of our project, but really the beginning. Last night, Brittany and I trained one of the teachers at the center to use the software and print the books. As we carried the printer over to her house for safe keeping I told her to e-mail as soon as she had trouble. She corrected me, and smiling said “Oh, I’ll be e-mailing you plenty, to show you all of the amazing stories we’ve written.”
We even made the news! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suF6IEoOWcQ&feature=share%5B/embed%5D