From Concepción, I made my way onto Valdivia, a town in Los Ríos region of Chile.
School Visits -Colegio Aliwen
Colegio Aliwen received me very warmly, specifically Monica Munizaga, a 'lenguaje' teacher in this school. I had a chance to observe and even participate in activities for about one and a half day.
During the lenguaje class on the first day, students where preparing for tomorrow [Día del Libro] by doing cuentacuentos, practicing songs, and tricks with toys and tools. Students that were practicing cuentacuentos were given the opportunity to read their story aloud, with teacher leaving feedback about expression/intonation/tone of voice/etc., with the objective that students should be able to read aloud, expressively and with emotion that reflects the content. The books they were reading for cuantacuentos were all picture books, with lots of images and colors.
On Day 2 [the actual day of the book] Monica's students read a story, reflect on it, and prepare small sachets with seeds and a note about how Earth Day and the Day of the Book could be celebrated together. Metaphorically speaking, they are sowing the seeds of learning and reading-and the sachets contain actual seeds (photo below). The seeds and note cards were included with the books that were given away by the students. More on this below.
Monica's class makes its way to a special education school to perform their stories, songs, and trick with toys and I go with them. In the auditorium of the school, Monica's students sing, perform tricks with pins and soft balls, and relate their cuantacuentos. Students in the audience listen, clap, and smile. The songs are specifically popular and students in the audience chant: "Otra, otra!" That makes me smile.
Wait but we are not done. After the special education school visit, Monica's students stop by the local hospital to donate books they collected during the week. They are instructed to simply choose a person in the waiting room and give them the book. All books have a note card with the seeds and a slip on the front that states “this book is a gift for you from a student in colegio Aliwen. It is given to you in honor of the “Semana del Libro” and to promote and celebrate reading. We hope you will sow the seeds and enjoy the book!” My heart melts when students smile shyly after they come back and look like it was nice to simply give a book to someone. One student shares with me:
There was this old lady waiting, and I came up to her and said 'Señora, for how long have you been waiting?" She said for a long time! So I gave her the book and said "Here is something to make your wait more manageable!" She smiled and thanked me.