Since we have been running the Under Eight’s Program (English lessons for young children) more children come to the library every day. Even though they are able to read the books they also have chances to play and join all the activities in the library. We create different sessions for children to learn different skills. We welcome all kinds of people who are willing to read and play in our community library.
In the library there are many things to attract the children. In the corner we set up the soft toys playing area which they can access easily. The children really like to play with the soft toys, they like cuddling and holding them. Soft toys are so popular with the young children and even some adults like to play with them.
During the paper folding time children gain more skills. Some children are really good at origami. For those who do not know how to make it they have to learn from each other especially, during the folding sessions they can build up their folding skills. I always make the skillful or older children teach the younger children. So in this session they can learn from each other, get to know each other and build relationships in the library.
Children focusing on paper folding.
Over the last one and a half years our books have increased especially the bilingual books and Khmer books. Some of our books were donated by Room-To-Read and The Asia Foundation and other books donated by foreign visitors. So we think that it is a good time to encourage the students to borrow the books to read at home so that they can gain comprehensive reading skills. They are very excited to borrow the books and have plastic folders to protect the books from the rain or wrinkling. We have been lending the books since January. They always return the books on the due date. Now mostly they borrow Khmer written books and bilingual books but there are some students borrow English books. So we keep buying more books to meet their needs every month. We will also courage them to borrow more English books in order to make their English skills.
The children fill in the borrowing form to take the books out.
The building blocks are very popular. They like to build houses, bridges, robots etc. They like creating things. Besides the blocks we have more toys for them to play in each session every day. We also run writing competitions so the kids can learn how to write, trace, and color. We have had some books and toys donated by visitors which have really helped to improve the library.
This little boy really concentrated on tracing letters.
These boys had great fun using their imaginations playing with the blocks.
Outside games or activities are so welcoming to the children waiting for class to start. It is good to do painting outside the library such as sponge painting, hand printing because it is easier to control the mess. The children get very excited when they paint as they don’t do this at school. The children also play outside games like Octopus, Duck Duck Goose, Simon Says etc. Through the games and activities they can build their confidence for joining in their communities.
Children painting using sponges outside the library
I am very happy to see all the children have fun and come to the library. The library is a good place for all children and adults who want to learn and share ideas or knowledge with each other. I will continue to find books and activities to let them have fun.