Thursday was a busy day again – they’re all busy! Classes are getting even better, except for Pilar, although we are managing to distract her and got quite a lot of good language today – just not enough actual practice as she talks the whole time!!
In the afternoon we visited a local library /resource centre called “La Fundacion German Sanchez“. The presentation was a little overpowering (read long and text heavy!) and and I was so tired that a dark, warm room with relatively comfy seats was the not the best place to be! I think most of us had heavy eyes but we managed (I think) to maintain levels of “alertness” sufficient to not appear too ungrateful!
We were given a bag full of advertising material which included some great posters, which I, unfortunately managed to lose in a hotel room in Madrid – gutted! The visits to the resource centre, the library and especially the reading activity workshop for the under fives were interesting though. It was great to see so many families taking advantage of the (free) opportunities for their children to access reading whether they be hard copies of books or on-line reading activities. It was also wonderful to see the joy that these activities gave to the children. Schools can request topic boxes of books that the Fundacion will put together for them and there are reading groups for adults as well as other activities to promote reading for all ages.
However, like the Montessori school, it was nothing particularly new to us. The same things happen here in NZ and in other countries around the world. What seemed sad was that this was something that was not provided by the government but by a privately funded organisation. I don’t know if the government also provides such a service for the general public and for schools, we certainly saw public libraries in all the cities we visited, but the fact that the Fundacion exists suggests that there is a gap that needs to be filled.
Time for a beer!