Poverty March 7, 2015 | 9:57 am

Collaboration between MyVery Own Library and DREAM expands in DR

Cabarete, PuertoPlata, DR.– On March 4th, The Dominican Republic Education and Mentoring (DREAM) Project celebrated World Read Aloud Day by continuing its partnership with My Very OwnLibrary and promoting reading in DREAMcommunities.

This was the second of three Book Fairs hosted by these twoorganizations, where over 2,000 students selected 3 FREE, NEW books eachto take home to add to their very own home libraries.

This particular book fair focused onDominican Children’s Literature by author Geraldine de Santis and illustratorKilia Llano. The book distribution was paired with motivational literacyactivities and talks by both authors and reading specialists.

Theevent took place at The DREAM Education Center in Cabarete, Puerto Plata, whichhas gained recent recognition for its work through the HBO Latin AmericaDocumentary “Seeds of Optimism: The DREAM Project”.

Theevent highlights the importance of reading and its role in providing highquality education to the children of the Dominican Republic, which DREAM alsoprovides through public libraries, literacy programs and their innovativemobile library program DREAM Con Libros.These books willprovide countless hours of reading, critical thinking and positive enrichingactivities in the houses of the underserved communities.

MyVery Own Library has already changed the lives of more than 15,000 students whohave participated in this innovative project in Newark, New Jersey andRichmond, California. This international expansion and partnership has providedeven more books to youth and continued to promote our shared culture of reading http://www.myveryownlibrary.org .

Ana Castillo, mother of a young reader, has gained a greatappreciation for literacy through the program:

“Mylittle Julia can now read, thanks to the first Book Fair at DREAM, she canactually read! Before, she could not read a word and knew nothing about books,but now I sit and listen to her read her books out loud and even teach herolder sister, who cannot read. I hear her teaching and I can see how much goodthis has done for her. Now, when we walk down the street, she always stops toread the signs. She loves to read and especially loves books with beautifulillustrations.”

DREAMstrives to support and partner with the Dominican Ministry of Education,reversing the trend of low performing academic results and creating a sharedculture of reading and high quality education. The goal of the DREAM Book Fairsis to improve literacy rates and ensure that all youth in the country haveaccess to books and a brighter tomorrow, free from the cycle of poverty.

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