I got to do one of the coolest things yesterday! I work at a high school, which isn't quite the age group that I'm used to! So I talked one of my co-teachers into taking me to one of the elementary schools that are in one of the farther barangays. We got to visit the school yesterday, and it was sooo much fun!
I got a couple of my first year students to pick out simple picture books from our library (which is quickly growing bigger and bigger, we're up to 1067 books!) and they joined me in riding a trike to the school. It took about a 15 minute ride by trike, and the road led us over rivers which had carabao hanging out in them trying to escape the intense heat until we finally came to a bamboo bridge that could only be walked across.
The school we visited could only be reached by crossing the the 20 foot bamboo bridge... this in itself made me love the school before I even saw it! The sense of adventure doubled once we got past the bridge and found a 117 step stairway going up to the school. AWESOME! The school was surrounded with a tropical rainforest. It was definitely one of the nicest school campuses I've come across, and you could tell the staff really took pride in their school.
I began reading to the grade 1-grade 4, but soon grades 5 and 6 joined. Honestly, just sitting in this beautiful campus, sitting under a huge tree, reading and singing songs with a huge group of kids that were excited just to hear stories, is one of the best moments I've had here. One of the kids' favorite books was the I Know an Old Woman who Swallowed a Fly. They could recite the entire sequence for me by the end. They especially loved to "wriggle and wriggle and jiggle," with the spider.
The students that I took from my school seemed really interested in learning how to read stories aloud, with enthusiasm and drawing the reader in with questions. I'm hoping that with practice, I can help those students start a program where they tour around the local elementary schools and raise interest in reading. They said the large group of students was intimidating, but that they might be able to do a small group of three or four children. I also want to show them how they can make manipulatives to add to the books, like puppets, masks, etc.
I'm really excited about this.