We pulled up to the first school that was just 5 minutes outside of San Juan del Sur near the rodeo stadium. We hopped out of the truck, grabbed a box of books and walked through the rusty iron gate into the elementary school courtyard.
As we walked in, we saw all of the kids outside of their classrooms in their adorable uniforms waiting to greet us. Checking out books was a once a month novelty that the little ones were always very excited for. They sat there with their teacher, smiled and waved to us all. I wanted to give every single one of them a big bear hug!
The school itself consisted of 5 blue and white classrooms, half of a cement basketball court, a couple of bathrooms and a small front yard. It was a small quaint school but I immediately fell in love with it.
We set the boxes of books on the ground and set up our “book check in/out” station that consisted of plastic white tables, a few fold out chairs and stacks of half sheet papers for the students to be able to check out books. I volunteered to help check in and out books with the kids because I wanted to see how the system worked and also to see how the kids interacted with the books.
I sat down and the first classroom of kids lined up to return the books they had checked out last time so they could look through the books for a new one. They were all very patient yet eager to dig through the boxes.
The first little guy who returned his book with me immediately sprinted over to the books as soon as I said, “Esta bien, gracias!” I saw them sorting through familiar books like Janie Bloom, Titanic and various other less familiar children books in both English and Spanish.
All of the classes got a chance to check out a book or two before recess. Every single one of them ran off with a book smiling. It was such a beautiful thing to see. This project was really making a difference in the lives of these kids by giving them the joy of reading, learning and therefore the opportunity to educate themselves and create a better life.
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