Poverty November 23, 2015 | 12:14 pm

Historic collaboration: Dominican Republic North Coast towns build home libraries for student

Cabarete, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.- The Dominican Republic Education and Mentoring (DREAM)Project is hosting the second annual My Very Own Library DREAM Book Fair todayin collaboration with Scholastic Book Fairs, supported by the family andfriends of My Very Own Library (MVOL) founder, Anne Feeley (1958-2012) and theBailey Tuvell Family.

The MVOL book fairevents will afford more than 2,000 students in the Dominican Republic theopportunity to select 10 free new Spanish Language books, over the course ofthe school year, to take home and build their own home libraries.

The events will also bepaired with motivational literacy activities, inspiring visits from awardwinning children’s authors, such as Ana Galan, and will include a variety ofliteracy workshops that will be offered to families, so that they can learn howto better support reading in the home.

In 2014-15, more than2,000 students in 7 Public Schools and 5 DREAM Schools along the North Coast ofthe Dominican Republic participated in the fair. These young readers chose morethan 20,000 books, who then created libraries in their own homes. This year,MVOL and DREAM will distribute 20,000 more books to our same network ofreaders.

Allowing theparticipating students to choose their own books at the book fairs is acritical component of the program, based on research in the Kids & FamilyReading Report™ from Scholastic, in which 90% of children ages 6-17 agreed that“I am more likely to finish a book I have picked out myself.”

Students whoparticipated in My Very Own Library book fairs in past years have commented, “Iloved the book fairs because I could chose interesting books for my home andnow they are MINE!” and “I have never owned a book before” and "With thebooks I have in my house, I have been teaching my little brother to read."

The first book fair for2015-16 will take place at The DREAM Education Center in Cabarete, PuertoPlata, followed by three additional book fairs in Ausberto Luna Lagombra Schoolin La Union, the Maximo Acosta School in Abreu and the community of Caraballo.Students from six other public schools along the North Coast are invited toattend these fairs.

The series of threebook fairs highlight the importance of reading and its role in providing highquality education to the children of the Dominican Republic. Participatingstudents will take home three books from each of the first two fairs (Novemberand February) and four books from the third fair in May for a total of 10 freebooks per student.

These books willprovide countless hours of reading, critical thinking and motivationalactivities in the homes of the underserved communities of Abreu, Islabón,Cabarete, Sosua, Villa Liberación, Sabaneta and Caraballo.

The 2,000 studentsparticipating in this program will be selected from DREAM’s High quality BasicEducation and Holistic Youth Development programs: Young Stars, DREAM SummerSchools and Camps, DREAM Con Libros (The DREAM Mobile Library Program) and TheDREAM Public Library Program, in addition to eight area public schools.

The goal of the DREAMBook Fairs is to improve literacy rates and ensure that all youth in thecountry have access to books and a brighter tomorrow, free from the cycle ofpoverty.

DREAM strives tosupport and partner with the Dominican Ministry of Education, reversing thetrend of low performing academic results and creating a shared culture ofreading and high quality education. We are extending our reach this month withthe opening of the RC22 DREAM School in San Pedro de Macoris in collaborationwith the Robinson Cano Foundation.

To learn more about theDREAM Project and to support this memorable event, please visit:www.dominicandream.org, or http://www.myveryownlibrary.org.

For more informationabout Scholastic and Scholastic Book Fairs, visit the newsroom at:http://newsroom.scholastic.com

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