The Little House of Knowledge is a playground with a kiosk containing books, games and other educational resources in the community El Triunfo, located 12 miles North of Tipitapa, Managua. The project was developed as a result of an education needs analysis made by Seeds of Learning and a group of women running a small saving/lending cooperative. Children in the community needed spaces for recreation and opportunities for expanding and reinforcing their knowledge after school. As a result, the co-op and Seeds of Learning decided to create a hybrid between a Learning Resource Center and a park in 2015. This project has been one of the most successful experiences in the Managua region. Around 25 children visit the park every day to play and learn. 42 children are enrolled in the different activities that include storytelling, reading campaigns, spelling competitions, traditional games, hand-craft making, homework support, investigation/research, dance classes, and many other activities. In 2017, the Little House received 3,700 annual visits.This place has become a point of reference and meeting for families in the community who visit the place for relaxing and chatting with other community inhabitants. Teachers of the local school have recognized the contribution the Little House of Knowledge is making in favor of quality education. Children who attend the park regularly show better performance than those who don’t. For many children, reading has become an habit they are learning to enjoy. Many organizations have visited the house to organize activities with the children or donate additional resources.
Initially, it was thought that a little space to store books and educational games was enough for the Little House of Knowledge. A 3 x 3 mt. kiosk was made with adobe. However, this space has been filled with resources and furniture and can not be used for children’s activities inside. Children can borrow a book and sit down in the park benches. However, the demand for activities that require tables was increasing. Children needed facilities for drawing, writing and/or painting. Before this project, they were doing this, sitting on the floor and using the benches as tables, which is not very comfortable. Although in some moments there is shade in the area, it was impossible to continue with activities when it rains. A roofed space to accommodate tables and chairs for educational activities was urgent.
This project consisted of building a 7×6 meters slab made of concrete with a roof made of steel and zinc sheets. This space will now be used for the activities of the kiosk, for meetings of the women’s group, and for cultural and social activities of the community.
This project improved the physical conditions of the park in order to be able to implement activities with children even during the rainy season. Some of these activities will be: drawing, reading, homework, research, dance classes, floor games, computing classes, language learning, etc. The center already has some chairs and tables for this purpose. The women’s group worked to procure some more additional resources.
Photos can be seen here.