The Friends of the Library have begun a program of teaching local kids to speak English. Even though English is the most widely spoken language in the world, the language of international business, and especially important in border areas like Rosarito to ensure employment opportunities, many school-age children in Rosarito have little or no opportunity to learn English.
The inaugural program places six English-speaking volunteers in classrooms at the Ciudad del Nino Club de Leones school in La Gloria. Each volunteer will work with one grade level or one grouping of two grade levels, one day per week, to help the students learn to speak, read and write English.
Students in the primary grades 1-6 and the secondary grades 7-9 will be the beneficiaries of the volunteer English education. While the volunteers will emphasize speaking and understanding English, they will use learning games, written exercises and language drills to help the kids to develop comfort and ease with English. The volunteers – Danny Benitez, Gloria Casillas, Ron de Jong, Jill Phelps, Chip Pierpoint and Susan Shea – are collaborating to find effective methods and learning materials to help the students learn to speak this important second language.
The Friends of the Library are also working to develop and offer English programs in the most underserved public libraries, so that area kids have an opportunity to access English education. Specifically, the schools in Primo Tapia have no English education currently – but the Friends of the Library plan to offer after school instruction in English at the local Primo Tapia library, and at other similarly underserved library areas. Those programs will be in operation later this year.
The Friends of the Library are dedicated to promoting reading and literacy in Rosarito and helping Rosarito’s young people prepare for productive and fulfilling lives. These programs of English education will join current FOL reading programs and contests as important opportunities for local kids.
The upcoming community-wide reading program Rosarito Lee (Rosarito Reads) will be, not only for the children, but for the whole community to join together in a city-wide initiative to promote reading and literacy. Similar to “One Book, One San Diego” and city-wide reading initiatives in many U.S. cities, it will be the first such city-wide program in Baja California, and, as far as we know, in all of Mexico.
All of these programs are made possible by the members of Friends of the Library and those who support the fundraising activities of the group. Memberships, which start at $10 per year, are available online at www.friendsofthelibrary.com.mx. There, you can also find more information about the reading programs, the upcoming Rosarito Lee initiative and the various fun fundraising events which support FOL.