A Future with Books
Read at Home and Chinle Planting Hope: Family Literacy and Community Building on the Navajo Nation and Beyond to Alaska
Glenwood Springs, Colorado Noon Rotary Chapter — Update
Imagine this. The nearest public library is over 100 miles away. Internet services are unreliable and not available to many families. No bookstores. Nearly half of Navajo families do not have running water and many still do not have electricity.
And then imagine your grandmother living alone, taking care of herself, her home, her sheep, but because of the pandemic it is still difficult to get gas for her truck so she can haul water for herself and her livestock.
This is the situation not in some far away foreign country but right here in the United States.
A number of Rotary Chapters in Colorado are working together to support grass-root efforts to bring books and children’s high quality magazines to kids on a regular basis through subscriptions and a Bookmobile. Rotary out of Durango are teaching local Navajo how to install solar light panels so children and families can read together in the evening, do homework, or the parents can continue with creating silver jewelry and weaving rugs. Both are important sources of income.Rotarians have worked side by side with community members to transform shipping containers into a thrift store, catalog over 10,000 books for a lending library, create a bicycle shop where riders can request a bike and helmet and learn the basics of bike repair and maintenance. Volunteers regularly bring baskets of food to elders who live remotely.
LITTLE FREE LIBRARY
A new addition is a Little Free Library located next to the Thrift Store for easy access and easy re-stocking. Interesting to note that in 2009 Rotarian Todd Boll was renovating his home when he suddenly had a fun idea. His mother had been a teacher. He loved to read. He hammered together left-over pieces of wood and made a little schoolhouse, filled it with books, put it on a post in front of his yard and added a sign: FREE BOOKS. That was the beginning of the Little Free Library program. Today these little free libraries are found around the globe — inside jails, refugee camps, north of the Arctic Circle in Finland, and soon — the Navajo Nation.
Keep in mind how important this work is. Exposure to good books is basic to success in school and success in life. Learn more at www.littlefreelibrary.org
ONE CHILD + CAN READ + BOOKS = HAS A FUTURE