Cesar Mendoza’s English Library
~ By Gloria
On Isla Mujeres, VolunQuest has been supported by donations from the foreign residence community since its inception. We receive all our school supplies- whiteboard markers, tape, crayons, etc.- through donations, and some people donate their time as well. My school, Cesar Mendoza, has a volunteer reader program where men and women can enter the school during recess and read English books to the children. English exposure is always beneficial to the young students, and the volunteers enjoy interacting with their new community.
In February, a regular volunteer named Dawn came to me with an idea. She had a large group of friends visiting the island and they wanted to donate their time as well. They donated construction supplies and manpower and in one day created a library for the whole school to use. They built and painted two bookshelves, and repaired and painted numerous chairs and tables. We transformed the English storage area into a working library, and filled it with children’s story books and art supplies. We had also received a cute little rug and pillows which I feel completed the cozy look perfectly.
Now every day during recess, I open the English library for my students to use. They are choosing to relax and read books in English! They also fly through coloring pages, chat with me in Spanglish, or in the case of my 4th graders, flirt with each other relentlessly. Because we teach in every class at our school, VolunQuest interns don’t have a classroom of our own; we move from class to class. It’s wonderful having a space of my own to share the donations of books and crayons, not to mention decorate with my students’ projects. A few of my cute little ones are obsessed with the popup books and endlessly shout, “look teacher!”
I really want to thank Dawn and her crew for their generous donation. The English Library at Cesar Mendoza has been a well-used gift, and will remain a part of the school for years to come.