We planned and slotted a day for a RiP.
RiPs at Bookworm do not mean anyone is dead or dying . A RiP is a life surging energising Reading in the Park initiative. If you have a park, we will read in it.
This being the mission, we chose Aldona, our new village of adoption.
Thanks to the foresight and financial support of the Alban Couto Library Program, Bookworm has 2 strong and alive library programs in Aldona in St. Thomas Boys Primary School and Auxilium Convent, Carona. The program is well received by the children and our team is growing stronger one session at a time,
So, it seemed natural to schedule a RiP at Aldona. We prepped and readied ourselves, planning to the intimate final detail, forgetting ONLY the double sided tape and remembering all else, we were at the park at Tercena at 3.30 pm on Saturday the 9th of November.
Two of Aldona’s finest residents Flavia F Lobo and Isa Flores are also Bookworms and they lobbied and laboured to ensure that the park was usable. Thanks to a kindly supportive benefactor in Lucano Alvares, the park was tidied before we got there. Thanks to the wonderful friends and supporters Isa and Flavia have in the village, parents walked up and drove up and rode up to experience a RiP.
What we did was create ‘ stations’ where reading interests can be nurtured and sparked and where a community can re discover what it is to listen to stories and participate in them, even if they are now printed.
Two young Bookworms Sheena and Priya took charge of the Reading Adventure station and converted an old broken almost dangerous swing in the park to a heavenly cradle of books. They used available fabric to pleat up shelves for display and pumped balloons real quick to generate excitement and the heady sense of happiness that comes with balloons. Children actively read, wrote and reflected on a pre selected array of ‘good’ books and we know that we planted stories in many minds that evening at RiP.
Chetna set out her books and sensitively spoke to parents about reading together with their children, while helping them choose books for different ages.
Isa and Carla enabled and supported tiny hands and large ones to paint away, encouraging visuals to tell a story and share in the delights of image creation.
I chose to read stories at pre scheduled timings and each story was different and resonated with a different theme, but all were met with the same sense of expectation, wonder, reflection and interest! A good story always attracts and will forever sustain.
While we know many people in Aldona, and always rely on them for support, the one person who demonstrated her support to us was Dr. Mrs. Maria Aurora Couto. She walks the talk and she holds our hand and all of us at Bookworm, are deeply grateful and thankful that she came to support us and cheer us on. We are in Aldona because of her foresight and determination to see the children have access to good books and the opportunity of a healthy library program. We thank her now and forever and until next time,
let us RiP!
We collated thoughts from our team. Here it goes!
Krystal says: My reading in the park moment was the quiet hush that fell through the story RAs. The last book we read was Biblioburro- a book wherer a man takes the initiative to deliver books to the children around, on a donkey. The last page shows many homes with candles on, and children reading. We lit candles in the park; but more that the ones in the children’s hands, I feel that a special candle was lit for books in their hearts and minds.
Sheena says: My reading in the park moment was with a boy called Mihir, when he read Bow-Wow, ran after someone and told him the opposites from the book. While he was away chasing his friend, I was sure this little boy wouldn’t return. But he did and asked me what he had to do next. I gave him a balloon and he wanted to read another book. A reader who enjoyed doing what the cards said as well. Smiles….
Priya Naik says: Completely new experience at Reading in the park in Aldona. Pumping alloons, satin shelves, swinging books; all attracted the children in the park. What surprised me the most and was my best moment is about a girl who came first to the Reading Adventure stall. She was happy when she came to know that it is a completely free reading and rushed to choose the books. I was most excited with the cap on the head, balloons in the hands and helping the children.
Flavia says: I was surprised and happy to see many parents browsing in the Burrow. It seemed that many parents were pleased with the idea of ‘Reading in the Park’ and I am quite sure that the weekly MOP in the park will be well attended.
Isa says: I wasn’t expecting so many people and felt happy looking at the parents and kids coming and going in the park. They were listening to the story, going through the books, painting and they wanted to do everything. They looked happy. This is a good start.
Niju says: RIP travelling to different places, especially new places makes me so happy. It was a good start and reaching around 50+ new children in one shot is path breaking. I am also looking forward to MOP Aldona and would love to pitch in whenever possible. I love that children are always excited about books. Also, its a good drive to Aldona.