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Nicaragua’s little bookworms

The Reading Corner supported by Plan International, helps to improve the children’s vocabulary and their performance at school. in Madriz, Nicaragua.

My favourite book is called ‘A Legend of Nicaragua’. On Tuesday, I took the book home and read it with my family,” says 12 year old Inner.

Every Tuesday, around 25-30 children attend a Plan International supported Reading Corner in a rural community in Madriz, Nicaragua. Each week, they read a new book and when they return it they’re asked to talk about it and answer questions. The children are encouraged to take their books home with them so they can read it with their family.

“The main purpose of this project is to work with the children to encourage a love of reading. That way, they learn new vocabulary, because in this community there are no books, so people don't read,” explains Lucy, Reading Corner Manager.

“I come here every Tuesday and we read. We read stories, poems. We have dictionaries here too so we can find the meaning of words we don’t know.” Rogelio, 11, says.

The Reading Corner is not only helping to improve the children’s vocabulary but also their performance at school.  “Now the children have learnt how to express themselves better in school,” Lucy says.

The programme also provides a space for teachers to educate children about child protection and their rights. “We talk to the children a lot about protection and how they can protect themselves in their own homes, in the schools, and if something is happening who they could go to talk to.” Lucy explains.

It’s not just reading that Inner and his friends have come to appreciate: “On Tuesdays we also do handicraft. We come here at three in the afternoon and do drawings and learn how to write letters. We all like to come here because we have a lot of fun with our friends.”