Friday, May 22, 2015

Feel Good Friday - Rainbow Reading Gardens

If you've been following Feel Good Friday, you know I love stories about literacy, libraries and the like (alliteration too). Today, we're going to visit a group that has established 29 children's libraries across 14 islands in Eastern Indonesia - Rainbow Reading Gardens! Or Taman Bacaan Pelangi, for those of you who speak Indonesian.

It started in November, 2009 when founder Nila Tanzil brought 200 books to a small village called Roe. As explained on the website, "Our goal is simple: more books and more libraries means kids in remote areas in Indonesia are given access to books and stories that will open a whole new world of opportunity." The original library in Roe now has over 3,000 books!

These are not the libraries I grew up with in the United States. Many times, these libraries are located in people's homes. You can watch a very short video of a fisherman named Pak Baco, who agreed to host a library in his house in hopes that the kids in his village, including his own, will expand their horizons and even go on to get a university education.

These hopes are shared by the people working for the organization. "At Taman Baccan Pelangi (Rainbow Reading Gardens), we encourage children to dream big. And books will inspire, broaden their horizon and motivate them to reach their dream." In the last five years, over 6,000 children in Eastern Indonesia have had access to the books in the libraries.

If your summer travels take you to Indonesia, you can volunteer at a library and meet some of the children in person. If you'll stay closer to home this summer, you can always donate some cash, like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @pelangibook. If you don't do it for me, do it for LeVar Burton.

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