Saturday, March 13, 2010

Inopacan Central School

taking down Christmas decorations in the new library room

scrubbing and cleaning at parent's work day, March 12, 2010

The time as come. The time has come for Connie to get off her butt and do another project. :)

So this month I've begun working with Inopacan Central School on their library. I'm not sure if it's because this is an elementary school, I've gotten more experience in dealing with library fundraising, or the parents are just more comfortable with me now that I've been living here for over a year, but MAN! this project is seriously rocking right now. During the past week, Central School has held a parent meeting to inform and brainstorm on how to best deal with the library needs it has. Their decision: a library committee. Last Thursday we held the first meeting, which drew out 6 parents and 2 teacher representatives. I was thoroughly impressed by the turnout. They elected officers for their committee, talked about what makes a "working library" and using the basic steps of Plan, Organize, Act, and Evaluate, have started to create an action plan for the immediate needs.

First on the list, as I'm sure you would guess, is funding. We've decided that solicitation, which on a side note, is how many things in the Philippines are funded, is the way to go. I've drafted a letter that parents will send to family, friends, and neighbors who are living around the world as OFWs, as well as a letter for interested donors in the community. We're hoping that their families and friends can hold book drives and send books via balikbayan boxes as we did for the high school.

Number two on the list, the room. This is where I'm most proud of the library committee so far. The room that was to be used for the library was packed full of old tables and desks. In the space of a week, the room has been emptied of all unnecessary items and cleaned by parent volunteers. Yep, parents showed up with their buckets, brushes, and soap and got busy cleaning up spiderwebs and the unblievable amount of dust that accumulates here. Within a week of having a library committee the library already has had a facelift!

So where does the library stand today? It is probably about 80% ready for books. We still need to work on sturdier shelving and painting, but those aren't immediate needs. Personally, I need to work on a library education program for not only the students but also the adult leaders so they can be aware of all of the amazing possibilities a library brings with it, and lastly, I'm going to work on enjoying being in an elementary school again and getting to know the parents again. I really feel like this project, combined with working at the high school, is going to be a special, memory making way to end my last few months in Inopacan.

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