Bainbridge delegation leaves for Ometepe to start new school library

The Bainbridge-Ometepe Sister Islands Association will be working to improve education and library programs in Nicaragua through March 3 with its 2014 Library Delegation.

This year’s delegation, which arrived in Nicaragua Feb. 18, will assist Ometepe teachers and librarians in setting up a model library at San Jose del Sur School.

In the organization’s first Library Delegation visit in 2010, Bainbridge volunteers and Ometepe librarians participated in a series of workshops to share successful methods for establishing school libraries.

The program for improving libraries has made substantial progress since its first visit.

Along with assisting in setting up a model library, the delegation will host other schools visiting the demonstration site and  distribute a collection of picture books — the bulk of which were donated by Wilkes and Blakely Elementary students and translated into Spanish before delivery.

The volunteers will also visit schools throughout Ometepe and distribute books and school materials funded by a BOSIA program that has provided Ometepe schools with $200 every year since 2003. Through the program, Ometepe schools have been able to provide glass-enclosed bookcases and other library materials for students.

Since 2001, the number of Ometepe school libraries has increased from three to 23.

The 2014 delegation includes several BOSIA Library Committee members who comprised the organization’s first delegation along with a few newcomers.

Co-chairs of the Library Committee Dallas Young and Susan Shaffer will join Helen Dunbar, Susan Bisnett and Lynn and Jim Pippard for a return visit. Barbara Tolliver and Susan Taylor, owners of The Traveler, which has contributed five percent of its gross December sales since 1995 to the Library Committee, will make their first trip to Ometepe with this year’s delegation. Committee member Lisa Giles, who lives on Ometepe part of each year, will also join the delegation.

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