Monday, February 18, 2013

Meet Junior

This is Junior.

Photo credit: Lino Sanchez, videographer extraordinaire

Junior is sitting on the front porch of one of our neighbor's houses waiting for me to interview him. Again.
A week or so before this picture was taken, I asked him:
"What is your favorite book?"
He thought for a moment, avoiding my eyes and responded, "The Bible." Junior wasn't the only kid who said that--not by a long shot. While many of you may be heartened by his response, the reality is likely quite different.
When I tell island-side friends about this, there are various theories that arise. The two most popular are: he is taught to answer that or that's probably the only book in his house.

An hour before this photo was snapped, we had story time. Josh and I plan each story session using only non-fiction books which fall under a particular theme for that day. We do this because while all books are scarce, non-fiction is virtually non-existent.
On this particular day, we talked about water: the water cycle, where water comes from, and what we use water for.
"Where does water come from?" I asked the group before reading and discussing.
"De la llave, from the tap," a tiny voice responded.

The wee one asking Josh to read to her after story time.   Photo credit: Lino Sanchez

They are so eager. By the end of the hour, each one of them could tell you about the water cycle and how amazing & essential it is for all of us. Ready hands shot up each time I asked a question. Each time I pulled a new book from my bag, eyes widened and pleas to read it ensued. Please note, this has nothing to do with me. I'm not a notable story teller. I don't have chocolates in my pockets (well, maybe, but those are for me, not the kids). And I can't tell a good joke to save my life. These miniature people around my neighborhood are genuinely interested in and eager to read and be read to. Many--you'd be surprised how many--want to learn how to read. And I'm not talking about the 7 & under crowd.

There just aren't any books.

After story time, I asked Junior again.
"What is your favorite book?"
"The one about water," he said, confident.
I smiled, "You mean the one we just read?"
He nodded, pleased.

In honor of Junior and these eager kids, we're offering a new perk over at the library funding campaign headquarters.

February 25th begins four special, celebratory days dedicated to service, charity and sharing called Ayyam-i-Ha. Baha'is and their friends will be offering and partaking the world around. You're invited too.

Ayyam-i-Ha title=

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