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Donations of Books to Sarapiqui

Thanks to the help of Give a Book Foundation and dedicated private donors, the SCLC has acquired new Spanish educational books for children for the SCLC library, as well as donated books to three public schools in the area.  Private donors assisted the SCLC with their fundraising goal since January 2008.  With the accomplishment of this goal, SCLC was able to work with Give A Book Foundation, who works with well known educational publishing companies in the US such as Scholastic, and purchase and ship over 1000 books to Sarapiquí.  On Wednesday, August 13th, Carl Dickerson, founder of Give-A-Book Foundation, and four volunteer helpers from the US, joined the SCLC staff in the donation of the books to the schools and SCLC library.

The event started with the Give-A-Book group meeting the SCLC staff at the SCLC in Chilamate, Sarapiqui at 1pm.  From the SCLC, they headed about 3km west and south across the Sarapiqui River, to the town of El Roble to Escuela Kay Rica, where they were met by one of the teachers, Mandalia, and children from the 5th grade.  Boxes of books were brought into the classroom and the kids hurried to peruse them.

After chatting with the students and teacher, taking lots of photos, the group said their goodbyes and headed out to another school.  At Escuela Calle La Lucha, the group was met by the Director, Ana Zeleida, and the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students.  Once again, the group was graciously surprised to see the kids eyes light up as they looked through the books.  There were books for all grade levels from kinder to 6th grade from novels to different subject matters such as counting, science, and world geography.

During the visits after speaking to the school directors and teachers, the group was reminded that the CR Public School System requires 20 minutes of reading every day in school, yet the communities in rural Costa Rica do not have access to books due to remote locations.  Plus, most of the bigger towns do not have book stores or the libreriasin the towns have only a small selection of story books or novels.  In Sarapiquí, as is the case for most rural Costa Rica, there is no government funded public library.  The visitors were happy to see the excitement of the kids as they looked through the books, from the CS Lewis, Narnia Collection to Bilingual books about animals.

Soon there after, the group headed back to the SCLC to meet with the Director of Escuela Chilamate, and the students from the SCLC Afterschool program.   Escuela Chilamate is down the street from the SCLC.  Every day, appx 30 students come to the SCLC take part in the Afterschool program that focuses on extra educational assistance to the students, from math, English, organized games, and environmental education.  Once again the students and Director’s eyes lit up, as they looked through the beautiful books. Story books and novels were given to Escuela Chilamate.

For the SCLC library, novels and story books for children of all ages, textbooks that focus on subjects such as Math and Science for all levels of elementary school, teaching resources for teachers were donated.  This is a wonderful resource that the SCLC library will be able to offer to all public schools in the area to teachers and students alike.  The original dream of the founders of the SCLC was to open a public library for the communities in Sarapiquí.  For almost two decades, SCLC has managed a small bilingual library with magazines, encyclopedias, dictionaries, novels, and educational books for the use of any local or foreign visitor to the SCLC. Thanks with the help of this project, the SCLC has been able to add more books to its library as well as contribute to the access of books in more remote communities.  It is now the task of the SCLC staff to find ways to continue to promote the library.  If you are interested in assisting in promoting the SCLC library, please contact the SCLC Director.

The SCLC Board of Directors, staff and communities of Chilamate region in Sarapiquí, we would thank Carl Dickerson, Give a Book Foundation, and the following donors for their assistance in this project:

  • David and Diane Ely, Vermont, US
  • William and Melinda Macrate, Escazu, Costa Rica
  • Alpha Chi Chapter of The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, Texas, US
  • Xavier and Pila Vela, Escazu, Costa Rica
  • John and Alexandra Moody, New York, US
  • Kelly Alers, San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Alberto Gallegos, San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Anabel Fernandez, Escazu, Costa Rica
  • Stuart & Elisabeth Walker, Heredia, Costa Rica
  • Sydney Martin, Maryland, US
  • Joan Hunt, Massachusetts, US

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