El Barrilete Library and Tutoring Space

Girl reading at libraryMatagalpa is one of the largest cities in Nicaragua, with a population of over 150,000. Like the rest of country, Matagalpa lacks many basic educational resources for children. Although the city has more than 14 primary schools and two public libraries, none offer books or library services for children.

Due to a lack of books and resources in schools and at home, a children’s library is urgently needed. Although the Ministry of Education recognizes the importance of reading as part of a basic school curriculum, the local schools only provide access to textbooks during classroom hours. Neither public nor private schools have lending libraries, and most parents cannot afford to purchase books. Without access to resources, many students have difficulty with basic reading, comprehension, and writing skills.

On April 15th, 2016, Seeds of Learning opened a Children’s Library and Tutoring Space in Matagalpa called “Barrilete” (or Kite). This is the first resource of its kind in the city. This large room offers books, reading activities and story hours as well as homework assistance and tutoring and a computer lab. In addition to offering access to books and support for schoolwork to children in Matagalpa, a reading promotion campaign is being designed for teachers, students and families in rural areas.

library photoBarrilete is helping students develop a culture of reading, explore books, and create opportunities to exercise their imagination and individuality. It is a space for students to complete homework with the help of local teacher tutor, in an effort to improve their academic performance and knowledge.

The library has a schedule of activities, including story time, book discussions, arts and crafts, writing and vocabulary building activities, and science activities. Barrilete is quickly making a positive impact on student’s academic performance!

Barrilete is being launched as a pilot project. All library services are offered free to the public, welcoming readers of all ages! Although it has just recently opened, many students have already visited the library. If the project continues to be successful, we will look towards expanding the services it provides, and exploring ways to increase community support to make it more sustainable.

Check out more photos of the library here.