Friday, May 28, 2010

Celebrating Their Trip

On their last day in New Mexico, Amherst College students Kat Libby and Alex Strecker were joined by Navajo Mentoring Program graduate Kyle Clark for a trip up Sandia Peak.

Kyle is heading to New Mexico State University in the fall.

The towering peak is accessed by the world’s longest aerial tram and reaches 10,378 feet, offering a spectacular 11,000 square-mile panoramic view of the Rio Grande Valley.

It also offered a chance to make snowballs in late May.

The next morning it was back to Massachusetts, tired but happy from a great trip.

We look forward to seeing all our friends on the Navajo Nation again next year.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Chronicle of Success

A permanent display at Navajo Pine High School in Navajo New Mexico showcases all the ways that Reader to Reader has benefited their school. The board notes the thousands of books donated (now over 12,000), computer donations (30 Dell computers), the online Navajo Mentoring Program, the dictionary donations, the special collections (Native-American literature & Japanese manga), and the trip Navajo students took to Amherst, MA to learn about college and careers.

Navajo Pine's well-stocked library is a resource for students, teachers and even members of the community.

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Warm Send Off

The students and parents at St. Michael Indian School held a goodbye dinner for Reader To Reader staff on our last evening on the Navajo Nation.

After the dinner, students gave presentations on Navajo history, sang songs, and played native flute.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

At the Window Rock

Reader To Reader took time out to visit the beautiful Window Rock in Window Rock, Arizona, the capital of the Navajo Nation.

Pictured are Amherst College students, Kat Libby and Alex Strecker. Who are spending their week assisting teachers at nearby St. Michael Indian School in St. Michaels, Arizona.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Not Just Books!

In addition to books and computers Reader To Reader also donates school supplies.

Pictured is Reader To Reader founder David Mazor and Navajo Pine High School shop teacher Robert Carrick standing next to thousands of dollars worth of shop equipment, including butane torches, propane torches and saw blades.

Reader To Reader was able to donate the supplies thanks to the generosity of Newell Rubbermaid, a global marketer of consumer and commercial products. The supplies came from the company’s Lenox division.

Teacher Robert Carrick at Navajo Pine High School in Navajo New Mexico does an incredible job of teaching welding, automotive repair and computer assisted drafting. He single-handedly gives his students a host of employable skills in an area with 90% unemployment. He is an extraordinarily devoted teacher who deserves accolades for all his hard work. He has personally donated thousands of dollars in equipment and supplies to the school for the benefit of his students.

A special thank you to Chuck Wahr, Vice President & General Manager, Worldwide Band Saw Business, at Lenox, for making this donation possible.

And a special thank you to Newell Rubbermaid for their incredible sense of corporate responsibility. This is a very fine company!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Books Bring Smiles!

Reader To Reader staff gave out a wide variety of books for the 5th and 6th grade students during our week at St. Michael Indian School in Window Rock, Arizona.

The books were given to the students for them to keep and to encourage them to read during their summer vacation which begins next week.

One thing was clear, kids love books!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Taking a Bite Out of Literature!

Students at Navajo Pine High School in Navajo, New Mexico, celebrated the completion of their three –month-long reading contest with t-shirts, posters, sweatshirts, and books which were generously provided to Reader To Reader by Twilight author Stephenie Meyer. The rewards really spurred interest in the contest which featured Meyer’s popular books, as well as a slew of other vampire literature. The prizes and certificates were given out during Reader To Reader’s annual visit to the school.

Contest winners were:

Kyra Bahe: Grand Prize Winner
Brooke Curtis 9th
Rodson Sandoval 10th
Nikki Johnson 11th

Honorable Mention
Quintana Johnny
Latina Bia
Aaron Catron
Starr Wood
Johnathan Moore
Terrilynne Tso
Ashley Yazzie
Dianne Bryant
Shishonja Nez
Teralyne Begay
Mariah Mariano
Lindsay Brown
Al Cody Yazzie
Jaseanna Bitloy
Aaron Bull Sariah Kee
Lauraine de Guzman Mediavillo

Congratulations to everyone!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Group Book Discussion

Reader To Reader volunteers, Kat Libby and Alex Strecker, led a book discussion at St. Michael Indian School in St. Michaels, Arizona.

Reader to Reader is spending the week on the Navajo Nation, working with librarians and school officials.

The Amherst College students led insightful book discussions for two sophomore classes that were exploring Alice Walker’s short story Everyday Use.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Starting the School Day

Reader to Reader is spending the week on the Navajo Nation, working with librarians and school officials.

Also high on the list is working with elementary and high school students that have been part of our Navajo Mentoring Program.

Pictured are Amherst College students, Alex Strecker and Kat Libby, at the entrance to St. Michael Indian School in St. Michaels, Arizona.

The two started their day working with the 5th grade students on the elements of a short story they were reading.

They will spend the afternoon leading a book discussion with the high school sophomores working on Alice Walker's short story Everyday Use.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Costa Rica Update

During the meeting held last Thursday in Santa Cruz, the Beyond el Campo committee met to discuss the program's short, medium, and long term goals.

With over 400 books now in Santa Cruz, the committee is currently working to ready the library space in the hopes to open it to the community by mid June. These dedicated community members take shifts sorting books, cleaning the small building, and building shelves and tables for the library.

Donate now to help the Beyond el Campo efforts!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Let us work together as if we had One Heart

Mr. Mazor,

The books arrived and we are very appreciative. We have an intern who will be cataloging them for circulation.

I truly thank you for reading my email and sending the books. We hope to grow into a larger facility and try to create new relationships with other agencies to help us along.

The teen fiction will help increase our collections for our youth. They love those types of books, especially the girls. I want to let you know that the book, titled, “The Dust Bowl”, reminds our people of the home they once lived in before we became a tribe. Our people would use scrap lumber, abandoned billboard and corrugated metal sheets, along with adobe, to create homes for them when they settled here in the late 1800’s. My father, who passed last year, remembered them when they traveled through Arizona to get to California. They would work the cotton fields alongside our Yaqui people and then leave once they made some money.

Our elder volunteer and our intern remembers those homes and it made us reflect on the many progressive changes our people have gone through to become a nation. We are very grateful for that.

Thank you so much and please keep in touch. If there is something that we can do for you, please let us know. We are at your service.

Chiokoe Uttesia.

Amalia Reyes, Manager
Dr. Fernando Escalante Community
Library & Resource Center
Tucson, Arizona

"Wepul Hiapsi tavenasia te nau tekipanoane, Let us work together as if we had One Heart."
--Dr. Fernando Escalante

Monday, May 3, 2010

Beyond el Campo Welcomes Victor Gamboa

We are pleased to welcome Victor Gamboa. who is serving as the supervisor of the Beyond el Campo committee in Santa Cruz, Costa Rica.

Victor is an extremely involved community member. He serves major roles in planning many community events, and serves on various committees, including the elementary school committee, and is part of a local traditional dance group, who has performed all around the world, including The Netherlands, Italy, and Colombia. He is the leader of a dedicated group of students in Santa Cruz called the Guias/Scouts, who take up new community projects and work to bring positive change in the Santa Cruz community.

He is happily married and the father of two girls, one 13 year old and one newborn.

Victor, three years ago, tried to gather local support to bring a public library in the town, but was unsuccessful due to a lack of economic resources and community support.

In January, he tried again to bring the community's focus back to literacy. He was leading a project with the Guias/Scouts to initiate a reading club in Santa Cruz for children, when we began to meet with him, and discuss our vision for Santa Cruz.

It is people like Victor, who dare to dream for positive change, and work diligently to see that change come about, that we at Reader to Reader most honor and admire! We are happy to be working in partnership with Victor Gamboa!