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Nurturing Readers
September 24, 2013
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MOP at St. Inez is gaining ground. Literally. We have moved out of the wee temple space on dry days and use the courtyard in front. It is a tight squeeze with 22 children, a couple of onlookers and 3 RPs.

Children sense we have arrived and begin to come, toting BW bags. Small things make up the identity of a library program. ID cards, bags, a borrowed book. I know we are getting somewhere, when 4 reticent teenagers who have hung around the periphery make bold to ask for registration forms. They find their own way to the circle and the box of books and bear with the young ones and the constant distraction.

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Their book choices intrigue me. All of them are in Class 6 – 7 and all of them chose early beginner books. Sometimes I think, that is the  most wonderful thing about an open access library – freedom to choose and like learning to walk, you have to sit first, strengthen your spine, then crawl, stand and take halting steps before you run. So too, it must be for new entrants to a library program. You start with the beginner books, you know the mechanics but you must practice a wee bit, stand and ensure that your can take the step before you walk. I will watch these new girls and hold them in my head and heart as we consolidate work in St. Inez.

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On this day, we attempted to work on a collaborative art work that had elements of stories read , listened to and browsed. Ideas were fast and furious. Using paint and representing these ideas took their time. It was a interesting to see that the boys who are the more vocal, challenging, demanding set in this group found their painting rhythms first. They did so enjoy the activity and colour and form emerged in a burst of enthusiasm.

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The girls have their own ideas and collaboration and order seemed harder to obtain. However once they marked their areas on paper, as always the medium leads. Painting projects have never failed to draw on the most intimate way of gaining attention of the artist and this transpired right in front of our eyes on the sidewalk of the St. Inez basti.

Books borrowed, art work on display, MOP material gathered up , we packed ourselves off to Bookworm, until next Tuesday where readers will be nurtured again.

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