Libros para Todos began in 2013 with a group of enthusiastic readers who thought it would be a good idea to bring author Francisco Jimenez to San Miguel de Allende. These readers were so moved by Francisco’s autobiography about his childhood working in the fields of California, that they contacted him and bought 250 copies of his book which they began distributing to rural schools where books are scarce. Six weeks later, 235 children from underserved communities came together and were able to ask questions directly to Francisco and have their books signed. One child remarked, “This is a dream come true!”
It was then that our project really took root. We began to think long term about how to inspire children to read more. Doing a Big Read every year was a great way to get children excited about a book, but we also thought it would be a good idea to get the teachers involved more. In 2015, Libros hosted its first workshop for teachers in which teachers from various participating rural communities came together and talked about effective methods for getting children to enjoy reading. It was a success! Now we host these workshops bi-annually.
Now that we had a few years of experience and seeing the demand to include more schools and more projects, we began thinking about how to keep children reading during year. We decided to make ‘pop up’ libraries: collections of books that would visit the communities, two months at a time. In February of 2017 we set up our first two pop up libraries.
We learned that children were also enthusiastic about writing their own stories. How could we encourage the love of writing? In 2017 we decided it was time to start organizing writing workshops for children with visiting and local authors as a way to foster creativity and a love of literature. Our first such workshop took place in February of 2017, and another followed in May of 2017. We will continue to plan workshops for teachers from now on.