Walking into a Story Book
About a year ago, we told you about our Dutch volunteer Vincent who singlehandedly repainted the library with scenes of happy children, cartoon animals and nature motives. Later, we received a generous book donation from our long-standing supporters Rebecca Lomax and Frank Weicks from Louisiana, USA. This year, we were joined by Suzanne, a volunteer from Canada, and she has taken on the big task of systematising the library. Let’s hear what she has to tell you about her work.
“In early March, I had the joy of walking into a 10-by-20-metre storybook. The painted scenes on the walls of the library captivated me, as did the open area with its brightly coloured shelves for children’s reading books and educational toys, like jigsaw puzzles and Lego bricks. I decided on the spot what I was going to be doing besides teaching English during the next six months at DEPDC/GMS.
“Many hours were spent sweeping away the inevitable cobwebs and kindly asking some spiders and toads to leave. The next task was to sew and repair three large, terrific plush chairs in the shape of hands. After that was done, I started to categorise the English books, sorting them according to their level of difficulty into ‘very easy’, ‘easy’, ‘intermediate’, ‘difficult’, ‘young adults’, ‘adult’, ‘science’, ‘teaching resources’ and several other categories. Then, each book was entered into a new database. As I knew that the students needed a simple way to file the English books away after reading them, I went on to colour-code all books and shelves.
“During all these activities, I enjoyed the library’s atmosphere immensely. Yet, I felt a little sad about the small number of English books suitable for English as Second Language (ESL) students at DEPDC/GMS. Drawing from over thirty years of experience as an ESL teacher, I believe that the library needs acquisitions such as ‘High Interest/Low Vocabulary’ books, more fun rhyming books like ‘Dr. Seuss’, as well as picture dictionaries. Students here are very keen to learn English to gain better opportunities after leaving school. An extended ESL section in the library would definitely be of great help to them. I searched and found several Thai book stores that would send such books and dictionaries free or at a very reasonable price and so I hope that we will soon be able to add books to our ESL section.
If you would like to help us expand the variety of ESL books, please make a contribution of $25 or more and donate via PayPal* towards the DEPDC/GMS Book Drive!
The library at DEPDC/GMS, now a joint Dutch-American-Canadian collaboration, embodies the good work of our volunteers and supporters from abroad. If you would like to join us as a volunteer, please go to the volunteer section of our website. If you would like to make a donation in support of our education or youth leadership programmes, please refer to the donation details.
* Please note that our volunteer Suzanne Gates is in charge of the book drive fundraiser and the Paypal payment account is under her name. Rest assured that 100% of the donations will be going to the book drive. If you would like to verify this information please feel free to contact DEPDC/GMS directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.