Public libraries are a scarce commodity in the Guatemala City garbage dump community.
We supplement this need by connecting our students with literature at an early age. We foster a love of reading and cultivate a culture of knowledge. Our libraries play an important role in comprehensive education. As our students grow, we do, too.
In collaboration with donors, staff, and volunteers, our library in the Colegio received a complete renovation in 2015. Our updated library space, new books, and fresh curriculum help us further our goal to give the cherished gift of reading to every student.
Students in grades 3 and up are allowed to bring home a book for one week. If a student needs more time after a week, they can extend for another week. Once a borrowed book is returned, students may borrow another. Our system of trust gives students the opportunity to become dependable library users.
In the spring of 2018, we opened a new library in our Educational Reinforcement Center (CRE), for students in grades 8 and above. In the CRE library, students have access to books in both Spanish and English. This new library gives our half-day students the same opportunities as the students in our full-day school. In total, our students now have access to over 5,000 books at Safe Passage.
We connect students to stories to promote self-awareness and social development. Reading opens opportunities for thoughtful discussion, increased vocabulary, and improved writing skills. The more students understand what they read, the easier it is for them to continue to learn.
Reading is active, engaging, and collaborative, and our weekly library classes provide students with ample time for independent reading and creative writing. Once per month, students participate in group reading and poetry writing activities that support reading comprehension, strengthen analytical skills, and foster critical thinking capabilities.
Students learn about the world through reading. By encouraging students, and teachers, to be excited about reading, we help them become informed, educated members of society.