This past Thursday I had a meeting with Maria Paz Garafulic and Magdalena Carvajal from Habia Una Vez foundation. The foundation is dedicated to promoting reading and reading strategies, helping schools develop and maintain effective, engaging libraries, and offering a variety of workshops for students, parents, teachers, administrators, librarians, and other stakeholders.
For the last three weeks I have been emailing schools asking to be invited to observe their classes and meet with their teachers-to no avail. Unfortunately, I get the feeling that Chilean schools are inundated with requests similar to mine, or they just don't want to be bothered [understandable]. Although the Fulbright Commission gave me some leads, all of them came back, well, cold. That is because cold calling may not work in Chile. You have to know a guy, that knows a guy, that knows a guy.
This connection at Fundación Había Una Vez is so absolutely vital for my project: they know people in the system, they work directly with schools, they have a relationship with administrators and teachers, and, most importantly, we have a common goal: reading and children's literature. This meeting was a major break through for my inquiry project.
Leyendo en Red
I especially admire their initiative Leyendo en Red or 'Reading in Network'. From what I understood from the materials, Había Una Vez joined forces with other foundations to help schools [mainly, schools in rural areas in the South of Chile] establish, maintain a successful library that encourages students' curiosity about reading. This initiative encompasses 6 stages to creating a successful school library.
Spanish teachers, pay attention!!
Their website is a treasure trove packed with information we all can use in our craft. There are book recommendations for different levels, announcements, and interviews with significant people in writing, reading, editing, and illustrating of children's books. For example, below is a recommended book featured on the foundation website. I think the book is from a curated collected "for the little ones" and includes a brief description of its plot. Will try to get one for my 6th grade!
"La clásica travesura del gato que se sube a un árbol y no puede bajar, es el punto de partida de un relato entretenido, donde las repeticiones y juegos de palabras mantendrán a pequeños lectores muy divertidos."
The foundation publishes a [quarterly?] magazine that is packed with relevant articles and resources. It is accessible online through their website and you have an option to download a .pdf copy of a magazine or read it online with issuu.com - a publishing platform. I did the issuu and it worked great.