So, Bookworm continues to reside in popular memory as a children’s library. A hole – in – the – wall that has some books for lending. No questions asked here.
As awareness increases and one begins to understand the scale of our outreach work and the number of children who get a systematic, creative library experience every week, a particularly favourite question is raised.
No, not, are children still interested in reading? – That is the number 2 question
No, not even, is reading still relevant? – That is the number 3 question
No, not, why do you do what you do? – that is the never asked question but..
How do you manage to support all this work? Who pays for this work?
For the past ten years I have been providing one of the following responses
Universal forces enable us. This is true.
Whenever I have needed funds a donor appeared. This too is true.
We slave and organise an Annual Jumble sale to raise our own money. This IS true.
I do not know. This too is true.
But this year, we have a fresh response. Seven years after the school outreach program began, we have a significant support for five of our LiS schools from the Cipla Foundation.
In the time that we have become grantees of the Foundation, we have learnt how to write formal budgets. How to calculate budget line items, how to track children’s learning to share with someone outside the program, how to document our meetings and outcomes in a shareable form, how to work as an even more accountable team and how to be thankful.
We have much more to learn, we all know that, but we feel we have climbed a wee hill. We are extremely proud of having come this far on our own steam but even prouder of being worthy of an investment from a discerning Foundation.
We believe more than ever that accountability of public funds is our primary responsibility and we look forward to a strong relationship in the future as we raise responsible readers with joy.
So, to answer the question of how we manage to support all our work? The answer is TOGETHER.