Ha Sefako, Butha Buthe, Lesotho
I graduated from Penn State and currently live in Lesotho, Southern Africa as I serve in the Peace Corps!

My Lesotho Videos

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Libraries!!

The library books are here!!! Almost all of the boxes of books have made it to my schools!!! I found three boxes that were hiding under a table and sent them up today. The schools, teachers, students, and families are all so excited! I spent the week at schools helping to sort, organize, and shelve books. The teachers and students did all of the work deciding how they wanted to organize the books and how they wanted them to look on the shelves. I only gave a few suggestions along the way. At one of the schools, I discovered an extra storage room that was turned into a library in two hours! It was pretty exciting!!

When I arrived at the first school this week I was so excited to learn that they had already put the books on the shelves and put a padlock on the doors to keep the books safe. The teachers were excited to show me the books, but couldn’t find the key. We spent some time looking for the key ourselves and came up with nothing. Then I remembered that we had a great search party – the first graders! We brought them out, gave them instructions, and sent them to find the missing keys, which we suspected were in the grass somewhere. Before the key was found, one of the teachers went home and got the spare set of keys. It was a pretty amusing way to start the day.

After we opened the cupboards we decided we needed to organize the books. That is when I found the new library! It is a pretty small room, but we used some extra benches and tables and turned it into a beautiful library. That part of the school has the teachers resources and books for older students. Two classrooms have books that are appropriate, or close to, for the ages of the students in that classroom.

Since my visit, that school has been working hard to teach the students how to use the library properly!

I think I mentioned before that a few kids come to my house to borrow books. I love when they come over! They sit for as long as an hour just to explore the books and find ones they like. I let them borrow two at a time and tell them they can come back any time to trade them in for new ones. A few days ago four boys came together to look at books. As they were packing up the books and putting them under my table for me I remembered that I had another mouse in my house! The little mouse ate my butter and through a few bags of food I had out. My grandma sent me a mousetrap, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. So as the boys were leaving I told them about the mouse and showed them the hole it made in my floor to get in. Imagine that, a little mouse eating through the floor!! They all just looked at me like they had no clue what I was talking about and then left. About 3 hours later they came back holding things in their hands. As I looked closer, I realized that they brought mousetraps! They set them up in a few places in my house and then left again. They returned early the next day, eager to see what they caught. Sure enough, when they checked the trap there was a little mouse stuck right in it! They could tell how happy I was and decided to stay a while to look at more books!

I pasted a link to my facebook pictures. The last handful of pictures are of a teacher using a Thomas the Tank Engine book to teach her kids the ABC’s, a 6th grade teacher using a dinosaur book to teach about carnivores and herbivores, and a group of 7th grade kids huddled around an Eye Spy book!

During lunch at one of the schools I couldn’t figure out where all of the kids were. They are usually outside playing games or running around. When I looked in a few of the classrooms, I found a ton of kids sitting at their desks with friends looking through books!! And it isn’t just the kids, the teachers are just as excited!! They love looking at the books with pictures of animals. I love seeing a teacher just as excited to look through the books as students. The teacher who read the book about dinosaurs would stop and reread a sentence or look at the kids with a surprised face as he learned with them.

I hope all is well at home! It is starting to get pretty cold here as it warms up in Pittsburgh. My hut was 54 degrees the other night!


Facebook pictures:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=3119755&id=9320551&l=5aa04787fb
(I don't know how to make this work. Copy and paste both lines together to get to the pictures)

1 comment:

Shayna said...

Mike, I absolutely love this post! Look at all the incredible things you're doing, and what a positive impact you have on all of these people. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the mouse, lol...AND you know, kids really need to be running around at recess. LoL I'm totally joking- it's so awesome that they're so excited about the books, and I'm so proud of you for having such a huge part in that :) Give yourself a pat on the back! You're out there for 2 years, right? When are you heading back to the states? Are you excited thinking about it, or sad? I imagine a little of both. Hope you're staying warm! Take care :)

~Shayna~