Most public schools in the Dominican Republic lack libraries or have libraries stocked with advanced textbooks or English language texts that are hardly age appropriate or of high-interest to young readers. In addition, public libraries are rare and most families in high poverty communities do not have books at home. As a result, student reading levels in the Dominican Republic are the lowest in the region.
Access to books and reading materials is critical for the development of early literacy skills and the cultivation of a love for reading. DREAM uses two primary strategies to bring books to communities that need them most. Our public libraries are built directly into DREAM education centers or public schools, serving students, families, and community members with a vast selection of children’s books and young adult literature. In communities without DREAM public libraries, we bring the books directly to public school teachers and students with our innovative Mobile Library. Both programs use trained librarians and reading teachers to facilitate community reading activities and intensive literacy interventions.
Students increase their chances of success in school by improving their literacy skills, increasing reading comprehension, and engaging in a culture of reading.
- Students and public school teachers have access to high interest, age-appropriate reading materials that support the literacy process.
- Students increase their reading levels through improved reading fluency and comprehension.
- Teachers increase their knowledge of literacy development and strengthen their skills as teachers of reading.
DREAM Con Libros Mobile Library
The DREAM Con Libros Mobile Library—created by the inspiration and support of Ace Bailey, Jennifer Tuvell and their daughter Coco—brings books, reading materials, and trained literacy instructors to resource-scarce public schools that lack libraries. The Mobile Library staff visits eight schools on the North Coast, working with more than 400 students. DREAM evaluates the basic literacy levels of participating students and develops an intervention plan that involves literacy activities for students grouped by reading level. Students have access to customized book selections as well as hands-on learning materials that help with basic skills including letter recognition, vowel sounds, and sight words. We expect to reach even more schools with a second Mobile Library donated by Ace, Jen and Coco!
DREAM Cabarete Public Library
DREAM’s public library system is one of the only public library resources in the entire north coast of the country. The library in Cabarete is located at the Doña Flora and Benjamin Rabinovitch Education Center in the Callejón de la Loma (Colonia Nueva neighborhood). Stocked with more than 3,000 picture books, novels, and board games donated from countries all over the world, it is now a bustling hub for children of all ages. The library is also home to a variety of reading programs including story time, guided reading, and book clubs. More than 300 DREAM students benefit daily from the library, which is staffed by 1 local librarian and 1 volunteer. In total, more than 800 students and community members are registered users.
DREAM Caraballo Public Library
The public library in Batey Caraballo serves a community of children and youth, mostly Haitian and of Haitian descent, living in extreme poverty. This small library in the Caraballo Community Center is stocked with high interest books organized by reading level and is open to the community. The library serves more than 150 students enrolled in DREAM programs as well as public school students and their families. A local librarian, who is also a Young Stars classroom teacher, staffs the library.
DREAM Abreu Public Library
DREAM is proud to collaborate with the Playa Grande Foundation and offer the community of Abreu the cornerstone of any educated community: a public library. This library contains more than 1,000 picture books, novels and educational activities, providing the school a print-rich environment with book clubs, story hours, and other engaging activities. The library is staffed by a local librarian who has been trained by DREAM Peace Corps Volunteers to deliver reading interventions and enrichment activities to 60 students while serving as a daily resource to the school’s teachers.
If you’d like to help us build a culture of reading across the Dominican Republic, we welcome book donations from our Wish List: http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/3O23XSGAMA321