Last week we held our reflection meeting with our school partners of the 20 of our libraries in Ende. Our mission here was to bring in representatives from our cycle 2 RtR-sponsored schools (list below) to come in with their library’s problems, and leave with clear and relevant solutions. We also got representatives from the Department of Education and Department of Library to come and support us. This reflection meeting focused on three main topics: library management, reading activities and procurement of books and furniture – each as critical as the other in our quest to foster reading habits in elementary school children.
Happy to seize on this opportunity, the schools got together and quickly wrote down as many issues as they could find. “How can we fix our library’s broken roof tiles?” asked one school. “How do we bring these characters to life when conducting reading activities?” asked another. “How deep is your love?” asked The Bee Gees.
With the issues identified, the schools set about brainstorming solutions. For instance, on fixing broken roof tiles, we had solutions like:
- “Ask the government to buy them!”
- “Ask Taman Bacaan Pelangi to buy them!”
- “Ask the school parents to buy them!”
With such a huge and diverse crowd, and such important issues, you can bet we had some rousing discussions. Arguments erupted from every corner: school against school, school against government, school against everybody! Joking aside though, this was exactly the kind of environment we wanted in our reflection meetings: a space where the schools were free to discuss and share their concerns.
Grievances were aired, debates were had and passions were flared. But in the end we arrived at clear action plans and, more importantly, a stronger sense of togetherness, both internally within the school, and externally with the rest of the TBP community.
In fact, we immediately noticed the effects this meeting had, when we visited one of our schools (SDI Barai 1) and found they had allocated some of the government’s public school funding (Dana BOS) to fixing the roof of their library. How awesome is that?
After all this, we still had one surprise left in store for the wonderful participants of our first reflection meeting. We are happy to announce that as the reflection meeting took place, Taman Bacaan Pelangi had just turned 9 years old! So what better way to close out this meeting than with some cake?
Everyone left with solutions in their minds, commitment in their hearts, and cake in their bellies.
All in all, it was a good day.
List of schools attending:
- SDI Barai 1
- SDI Ende 12
- SDN Ende 1
- SDI Tetandara
- SDN Ende 5
- SDK Ende 8
- SDI Ende 13
- SDI Wolowona 2
- SDK Roworeke 2
- SDI Ende 14
- SDI Watujara
- SDI Ende 7
- SDI Bhoanawa 1
- SDI Paupanda 1
- SDI Paupanda 2
- SDI Bhoanawa 2
- SDI Roja 2
- SDN Roja 6