Feedback of Ms. Vin Del Rosario, School Librarian, Laguna BelAir School, City of Santa Rosa, Philippines on PaperTigers: Books+Water Book Sets

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Concluding our focus on Laguna BelAir School and their involvement in our WaterBridge Outreach program we present the feedback of the school  librarian Ms. Vin Del Rosario.

The books donated by the PaperTigers: Books+Water presented a very suitable opportunity for me to propose a reading program for the Learning Resource Center (LRC).

I am a School Librarian who oversees the operations of the Library and Learning Resource Center of Laguna BelAir School, a K-12 private educational institution located in the City of Santa Rosa, Laguna,Philippines.

This reading program was spearheaded by the LRC in partnership with the Class Advisers and Reading Teachers of students in Grades 2 to 6. One of the aims of this reading program was for students to encourage one another to read the Spirit of PaperTigers (SPT) books in the library to reach the class reading goal. The reading goal was determined by the number of students in the class, the assigned 3 SPT titles and percentage of expected participating students. To reach the class reading goal faster, more students must participate in the reading program.

This SPT Reading Program gave me more chances to reach out to the clients of the library. While the reading program was up and running, the students would wait for me every morning during their Class Routine time for the distribution of the Mini Book Certificates. These small pieces of paper certified that the student earned points for his/her class by submitting correct answers using the Book Completion Form (BCF). (more…)

Laguna BelAir School (Philippines) and their involvement in our WaterBridge Outreach Project ~ Part 1

Monday, January 28th, 2013

This promises to be a special week here on the blog as we spend the next few days highlighting feedback from one of our WaterBridge Outreach participants:  Laguna BelAir School in Santa Rosa City, Philippines.

Our WaterBridge Outreach: Books + Water Nourishing the Mind and Body program (formerly known as Spirit of PaperTigers Outreach)  seeks to further the overall goals of the PaperTigers Program: bridging cultures and opening minds, promoting greater understanding and empathy among young people from different backgrounds, countries, and ethnicities. More specifically, WBOutreach works to advance education through books and reading, and development through clean and accessible water.

Since 2009,  the “Books” portion of WaterBridge Outreach: Books + Water has seen us put  specially chosen book sets into the hands of young readers through schools and libraries, encouraging literacy, developing understanding and making reading a lifelong habit.  Each year’s  set is comprised of books that we feel provide “multicultural” or “trans-cultural” stories that promote awareness of, knowledge about, and positive acceptance of “the other” in ways children can learn and enjoy. We are convinced of the crucial role of literacy and reading in an education that fosters understanding and empathy.

Laguna BelAir School has participated in our Book Set program for the past 3 years under the guidance of  the school’s amazing head librarian, Ms. Vin Del Rosario. Using the books Ms. Del Rosario implemented an inspiring  reading program for her students in grades 2 to 6.  Ms. Del Rosario writes:

You have chosen quality book sets, books that contain values that are important to us. It was easy for us to share the books with our students as the stories and illustrations “capture” our students’ interests.

I initiated the PaperTigers reading program to create an avenue to encourage our students to read the books in a fun way. It is also the library’s way of helping the English subject teachers to get feedback on the PaperTigers books.

This reading program is a class effort. It encourages class participation. The more these students read in a class, the faster they can reach their reading goal. Reading points were assigned to different PaperTigers books. Class advisers and Reading teachers encourage students to participate in the reading program.

The students visit the library to read the PaperTigers books during their snacks and lunch break. After reading a book, the student is given a “book completion form”, which is a small piece of paper with two or three questions about the book. Students earn points for each form they complete and are awarded a “mini book certificate”.

Originally, I had intended to run the reading program up to November 2012. However, due to the overwhelming responses of the students, we completed it by the end of September!

We’ve been posting Laguna BelAir’s written feedback on the book sets on our Outreach page here.  Earlier this month we received this video from the school. Such a thrill for us to see the students and staff of the school engaging with the books we sent and I think we can all agree that Ms. Del Rosario’s reading program was a HUGE success! Enjoy!

New Feedback on our WaterBridge Outreach Site from Laguna BelAir School, Santa Rosa City, Philippines

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

New on our WaterBridge Outreach site (formerly known as Spirit of PaperTigers Outreach) feedback from Laguna BelAir School in Santa Rosa City, Philippines. Laguna BelAir School has participated in our Outreach program for the past two years and and recently sent us their feedback  on the 2011 Spirit of PaperTigers Book Set which was comprised of the following three books:

Biblioburro, written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter (Beach Lane Books, 2010);

A Child’s Garden: A Story of Hope, written and illustrated by Michael Foreman (Walker Books/Candlewick Press, 2009);

Rain School, written and illustrated by James Rumford (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2010).

Head Librarian Ms. Vin Del Rosario wrote:

I am pleased to inform you of our on-going library reading program using the PaperTigers books you have donated to our school. This reading program involves the students from 2nd grade to 6th grade.

I initiated the PaperTigers reading program to create an avenue to encourage our students to read the books in a fun way. It is also the library’s way of helping the English subject teachers to get feedback on the PaperTigers books.

This reading program is a class effort. It encourages class participation. The more these students read in a class, the faster they can reach their reading goal. Reading points were assigned to different PaperTigers books. Class advisers and Reading teachers encourage students to participate in the reading program.

The students visit the library to read the PaperTigers books during their snacks and lunch break. After reading a book, the student is given a “book completion form”, which is a small piece of paper with two or three questions about the book. Students earn points for each form they complete and are awarded a “mini book certificate”.

Originally, I had intended to run the reading program up to November 2012. However, due to the overwhelming responses of the students, we completed it by the end of September!

For our teachers, you will be pleased to know that our Academic Team Head has given the instruction that each one must choose a PaperTigers book for integration in their lessons within this school year.

To learn more about the WaterBridge Outreach program and to read feedback from the participants, click here.

Highlighting Feedback from 2011 WaterBridge Outreach Participant: Dharma Chakkra Child Foundation Library, Sri Lanka

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

Our WaterBridge Outreach: Books + Water Nourishing the Mind and Body program (formerly known as Spirit of PaperTigers Outreach)  seeks to further the overall goals of the PaperTigers Program: bridging cultures and opening minds, promoting greater understanding and empathy among young people from different backgrounds, countries, and ethnicities. More specifically, WBOutreach works to advance education through books and reading, and development through clean and accessible water.

Today on the blog we are highlighting feedback from WBOutreach participant Dharma Chakkra Child Foundation Library located in the Dharma Chakkra Children’s Home in Weedagama, Sri Lanka. Established in 1998, the home provides housing and education for approximately 100 orphaned boys as well as for boys from unstable homes. In 2008 a second children’s home was opened exclusively for girls. Nia Murphy was instrumental in getting a 2011 Book Set to the Dharma Chakkra Child Foundation Library and  for providing us with this feedback:

The books were put in the children’s shared library. Dharma Chakkra has two hostels, one for the girls and then another, about 200 metres away and behind a wall, for the boys. The library is in the boys’ hostel. When I was last at the home the library was open in the evenings for the boys to use freely. Since then they’ve decided to shut it except at weekends when they have library time and English classes. I was told the books were used by the English teacher during these classes. However it was felt the books were a bit difficult for some of the children at the home, many of whom are still struggling with Sinhala, the local language. This is mostly true of the boys but the girls, who unfortunately have less access to the library, are at a higher standard. In hindsight I think a donation only for the girls’ hostel might have been a good idea. This was my mistake.

The overriding feedback was actually about the visuals: that the books showed children things they don’t normally see in ‘normal’ (read affordable) English or Sinhala books. Many of the books they have in the library are very old and extremely out of date. The affordable English books on the market in Sri Lanka are often things like The Radiant Way, which is a very dated old English sort of publication with smiling white children in high socks. Very simply, seeing children in picture books with brown skin is a rarity. So they were particularly excited about this, and the fact the children were seeing worlds not too dissimilar to their own but ones not normally presented in children’s books.

Click here to read the rest of Nia’s report.

PaperTigers 10th Anniversary: Uma Krishnaswami’s Top 10 AND a Quick Chat

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

One of the books in our recently announced 2012 Spirit of PaperTigers Book Set is the gorgeous Out of the Way! Out of the Way! by the almost-same-named Uma Krishnaswami (author) and Uma Krishnaswamy (illustrator).   I interviewed Author-Uma last year about her hugely entertaining The Grand Plan to Fix Everything, so I caught up with her this last month to ask her a couple of questions about Out of the Way! Out of the Way!, originally published in India by Tulika Books and published this year by Groundwood Books.  (You can read about Illustrator-Uma’s experience creating the book in the Q&A for our Gallery feature of her work.)

Welcome back to the PaperTigers blog, Uma.  What does Out of the Way! Out of the Way! mean to you?

I never understand what a book means to me until quite some time after it’s been published.  I can’t seem to think of it in that way until I’ve gained some distance from the project. On the surface, Out of the Way! Out of the Way! is a simple story, and I am often drawn to simple stories, especially those in which a single action has far-reaching consequences. At another level I suppose it represents my Pollyanna attempt to make things right in this world. In the reality we all inhabit, let’s face it, most of the time, when development demands a road, trees generally lose out. I started out by thinking of the face-off we see so often between human sprawl and green, growing things. The story grew and changed over many revisions and especially over the editorial process at Tulika Books. In the end it became a response to that conflict, questioning it and offering another view.

If you could send it anywhere in the world, where would that be and why?

Well, I’d want to send it to communities on the edges of cities, places where green habitats are rapidly being eaten up by concrete blocks and uncontrolled roads. Places where children and the adults who care for them might feel inspired to look at their environment and begin asking questions about whether and how it’s being sustained. I’m very grateful to Groundwood Books for bringing this book to North America, and to PaperTigers for selecting this title and making it possible for such conversations to take place.

Also, because it was first published in India by the wonderful Tulika Books in English and in eight Indian languages, I’d really like to see sets of regional language editions of the book sent to schools and NGOs in India, in communities where children learn to read in languages other than English.

Thank you, Uma.  You can keep up to date with Uma at her wonderful blog Writing With a Broken Tusk, as well as her website, which currently highlights Out of the Way! Out of the Way! on its landing page.  But don’t go away just yet – the good news is that Uma also has a list of ten favorite  books to share with us for our 10th Anniversary Top 10 series.

A Top 10 of Multicultural favourites by Uma Krishnaswami

I had to think about this. It was difficult to stop at ten!  This list is in no particular order, and includes books across the age range.

Indian Shoes by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Amadi’s Snowman by Katia Novet Saint-Lot

Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke

Nabeel’s New Pants by Fawzia Gilani-Williams illustrated by Proiti Roy (originally published by Tulika Books, India as Ismat’s Eid)

The Wild Book by Margarita Engle

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Tiger on a Tree by Anuskha Ravishankar, illustrated by Pulak Biswas

Waiting for Mama by Tae-Joon Lee, illustrated by Dong-Sung Kim

 

I’ve spotted some of my own favorites in Uma’s list too… What about you?  And if you would like to send us a Top 10 of your favorite multicultural books from any genre or theme (we’ll also accept a Reader’s Ten – see Janet Wong’s selection for an explanation), just email me your list to marjoreATpapertigersDOTorg.

Announcing the Spirit of PaperTigers Book Set 2012

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

We are very proud to announce the new book set for our Spirit of PaperTigers Outreach Programme. This year we have selected four books in total: three books that will be sent to all the schools and libraries around the world participating in the Spirit of PaperTigers Outreach, and one more that will go to certain places that have older students. So, without further ado, the books are:

Out of the Way! Out of the Way!
by Uma Krishnaswami, illustrated by Uma Krishnaswamy
(first published by Tulika Books, 2010; Groundwood Books, 2012)

Yuko-Chan and the Daruma Doll: The Adventures of a Blind Japanese Girl Who Saves Her Village
by Sunny Seki
(Tuttle Publishing, 2012)

The Good Garden: How One Family Went from Hunger to Having Enough
by Katie Smith Milway, illustrated by Sylvie Daigneault
(Kids Can Press, 2010)

Drawing from Memory
by Allen Say
(Scholastic Press, 2011)

You can read more about the books with more links to PaperTigers features here, and the 2012 Book Set also features on the homepage of the PaperTigers website.

Gail Tsukiyama launches her newest novel A Hundred Flowers and discusses her involvement in our Spirit of PaperTigers Outreach Project

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

A member of our PaperTigers’ family, best selling author Gail Tsukiyama was interviewed today on Sedge Thomson’s West Coast Live radio show. Click here to listen to the interview  in which Gail talks about her newest novel A Hundred Flowers (St. Martins Press, 2012) and her involvement with our Spirit of PaperTigers Books and Water program which provides donations of new multicultural children’s books for schools and libraries, while engaging with local communities to obtain access to clean water in areas of need throughout the world.  Together, these offer a vital source to promote literacy, education and development, while contributing to a fuller and healthier community. Gail’s interview begins at 90:10 and the portion addressing the Spirit of PaperTigers Project  starts at 101:00.

 

 

2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content Project Splash Asia!

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

With our current PaperTigers issue focusing on the theme of Water in Multicultural Children’s Books and with water playing a crucial role in our Spirit of PaperTigers Outreach (read yesterday’s post to learn more), I was thrilled to learn that water-themed children’s stories will also be highlighted at next year’s Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Singapore!

Project Splash Asia! AFCC 2013

Next year will be the United Nations International Year of Water.

Community and school programmes in many countries will include reading, performing and creating water-themed stories.

Share your favourite stories that have water as a theme, such as Wave by Suzy Lee (California US: Chronicle Books, 2008), Amansinaya-Goddess of the Sea, by Eugene Evasco and Jomike Tejido (illustrator) (Philippines: LG&M, 2007), The Wakame Gatherers by Holly Thompson and Kazumi Wilds (illustrator) (California US: Shen’s Books, 2007), and Water Tales From Around the World (India: Tulika Publishers, 2010).

Project Splash Asia! aims to publish a bibliography and collection of favourite water-themed children’s stories from or about the region for AFCC 2013.

The National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) hopes the compilation of a bibliography of children’s stories around a universal theme will be a regular project for AFCC to showcase the diversity of talents and children’s literature in the region.

For suggestions and enquiries, please email afcc@bookcouncil.sg.

Spirit of PaperTigers Outreach ~ Books and Water: Nourishing the Mind and Body

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Over the past few months the PaperTigers’ website has been focusing on the theme of Water in Multicultural Children’s Books. We chose this theme in part because  it coincides with our Spirit of PaperTigers Outreach project. The Spirit of PaperTigers (SPT) Outreach seeks to further the overall goals of the PaperTigers Program: bridging cultures and opening minds, promoting greater understanding and empathy among young people from different backgrounds, countries, and ethnicities. More specifically, SPT outreach works to advance education through books and reading, and development through clean and accessible water.

Since 2009, the PaperTigers Program has put books into the hands of young readers through schools and libraries, encouraging literacy, developing understanding and making reading a lifelong habit.  Taking this work a step further, SPT outreach is seeking to ensure that, in areas where there is water stress or water scarcity, the children to whom the books are sent will have access to clean water and good sanitation. The possibility of effective education in certain parts of the world is linked to the basic realities of food and water.  By focusing on books and water together – nourishing both the mind and body – SPT continues to promote literacy and encourage children to become “hungry readers.”

BOOKS AND WATER

Every year we send carefully chosen books to particular schools and libraries in various parts of the world. The books chosen seek to provide “multicultural” or “trans-cultural” stories that promote awareness of, knowledge about, and positive acceptance of “the other” in ways children can learn and enjoy. We are convinced of the crucial role of literacy and reading in an education that fosters understanding and empathy.

While many organizations are doing excellent work in getting books to children through schools and libraries in areas of need, the specific focus of the SPT outreach is, each year, not only to select a set of books whose content and focus enhance the goals of reading and literacy, but to engage in particular areas in water projects that assist a school/village to have access to clean water and sanitation. SPT’s first water projects have been successfully completed in Tamil Nadu, India, La Gonav, Haiti, and Kiphire, Nagaland, India with future water projects under consideration in Guatemala  and the USA.

In addition to working with others to provide access to clean water, SPT hopes to reduce the effects of such diseases as diarrhea, cholera, typhoid, and river blindness contracted through contact with unsafe water and poor sanitation, or malaria and dengue fever contracted through stagnant water, which continues to have devastating effects on health – particularly on children.  Without adequate sanitation, education remains a distant dream for many children. Particular focus will also be given to the education of girls, where their development is often seriously impeded by long exhausting hours transporting water each day to their homes from distant water sources – water sources that are often contaminated and used by animals and humans alike.

To learn more about SPT and to read feedback from the participants, click here to be taken to the Spirit of PaperTigers Outreach website.

First feedback on the 2011 Spirit of PaperTigers Book Set…

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

 

Now on the Spirit of PaperTigers website, feedback from Winnie J. Porter, Library Media Teacher at Monroe and Fairmount Elementary Schools in San Francisco, and, a new participant this year, Shree Amar Jyoti Gaun Pharka Primary School in the Pokhara Valley, Nepal, with feedback from Nicki Clive, who was a Volunteer Teacher there from October – November 2011.

Both Winnie and Nicki have provided in-depth feedback – do head over and read all they have said. In the meantime, here are a few special snippets:

Monroe and Fairmount Elementary Schools

A funny note: one little grade student was the first to notice [in Biblioburro] that the bandit was sitting under a tree reading the stolen book. After that, either I or another student pointed it out. The kids loved that part!

A Child’s Garden, I only read to 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classes (ages 7-10). This was the favorite of the older kids. I prefaced it by asking them what they thought the “author’s purpose” was in writing this book. Of course, they were disappointed that more details were not provided and they wanted more. We talked about what country this could be happening in. With older kids, I would have pushed for them to think about this happening in our own country: a great way to discuss immigration, our marginalized citizens, what the wall symbolizes…

Some students were very sophisticated in their thinking; others were very limited by their skills in English. They were particularly angry with the soldiers. They also commented as to why the two kids did not talk to each other. [...] This book could certainly be used to teach a whole unit on various subjects: immigration, environment, class struggle, survival, hope…

Shree Amar Jyoti Gaun Pharka Primary School

When the PaperTigers books first arrived there was a certain amount of apprehension from the Nepalese teachers who thought that the books were too precious to be shared with the children because they might get damaged. It was such a joy to see a child being allowed to pick up a book at the end of my stay to look at the pictures and discuss the story with friends.

Rain School: this uplifting book was the children’s favorite. They loved the illustrations and returned to look at the book again and again. There was much that was familiar to them in the pictures. Many have seen tailors working outside on their sewing machines and the majority of children have a family goat. They related to the children in the book learning their alphabet and they have experienced the monsoon rains washing away buildings and roads.

All the pupils in the school were thrilled to have received these lovely books. Watching the little ones being allowed to turn the pages and look at the pictures unsupervised was a very special moment. It was also thrilling to see some older boys picking up Rain School and then looking for Africa on the world map.