Reading Adventure

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THE READING ADVENTURE WAS BORN. . . in the month of July, 2001 when two dreamers were wandering through the city of Villa Hayes, looking for a place where they could make reality the idea of endowing this valuable Chaco community with a space where young people, principally boys and girls, together with other residents, could become comfortably acquainted with different expressions of art and culture. And so came to life what today, after five years of work, is considered to be Centro Cultural Melodía's principal contribution to the community, its' library...

Not only the community has benefited from the experience of putting a free-access library at the disposition of the residents, but so have we. Through our many faithful users we have learned that the habit of reading was absent, not for lack of interest, but mainly for lack of access to reading materials, and we have seen the different ways in which interest in the written word is embodied in people, thus confirming the saying that "you can't love what you don't know."

In view of this fact, and with the desire to form permanent readers, the Centro Cultural Melodía explored different initiatives that were being developed to promote the reading habit. From these it was decided that the program designed and implemented in numerous and prestigious educational institutions in Paraguay's Eastern Region by Mrs. Mary Meyer, Consultant and Founder of ESP (Education for a Specific Purpose) and an educator at heart, was an innovative alternative that could have an effective and lasting impact in Villa Hayes.

THE READING ADVENTURE, as the project is called, was elaborated and is being implemented by the ESP consultancy's team. It is a program that encourages reading, and whose objective is to change the attitudes that girls, boys and teachers have toward reading. It seeks to break the exclusive association of reading with formal learning, study and homework, and to transform it into a recreational and pleasurable activity, since it is now known that reading is undoubtedly one of the fundamental tools needed to face the challenges of the modern world.

The project involves students and teachers from grades 1, 2 and 3 of three educational institutions in Villa Hayes: "Dr. Raúl Peña," "Municipal 2", and "Jardín de NIPPAC" Schools, and will last for 3 years. The project fits within the framework of the National Reading Plan 2005--2010, has the support of the Ministry of Education and Culture's coordination team for the Department, and is sponsored by the Centro Cultural Melodía.