IBBY-Yamada 2019: El Salvador

IBBY El Salvador: Reading programme Leer es Maravillosa

The Library of Dreams / Biblioteca de los Sueños is a continuing project that attempts to divert at-risk children in El Salvador away from gang activity and pressure, towards the pleasures of reading and poetry. Children from 4 to 12 years are encouraged to write their own poetry and share it with fellow students and the community at large. The library is a safe, peaceful place where the children can talk and write freely about the violence, abuse and family breakdown and find shelter and respite from the chaos and danger of their neighbourhoods, schools and sometimes their homes. Opened in July 2016 with the support of IBBY, over 3,600 children have visited since then. The library offers a weekly programme Reading is Marvellous / Leer es Maravillosa for three months for an average of 100 children at the library and at the Escuela Lyndon B Johnson school. The aim is to develop children’s skills and habits of reading and to improve their communication skills. The programme ran from April to June 2019 and IBBY-Yamada funding was used mainly for staffing. The works created by the children were published on the Library of Dreams Facebook site.