Library Construction Possible Due to Adventure Life Grant
What is Dende da Serra?
Dendê da Serra Waldorf School had a grant for a library project approved in the middle of 2017 by the Adventure Life grant program. Our school did not have a proper library space until this project began. Dendê da Serra School is located in Serra Grande, southern Bahia, Brazil. This non-profit organization was founded in 2001, providing an education based on the principles of Anthroposophical Pedagogy (Waldorf Pedagogy). The school also promotes social integration and propitiates the socializing of children from different origins and backgrounds, giving priority to the needs of low-income families. Currently, the school has 215 students from 4 to 15 years old, and 65% of them receive grants to attend the school. As a result of this social and educational project, in 2015, Dendê da Serra Waldorf School was acknowledged by international organizations Ashoka and Alana, as one of the 18 Changemaker Schools of Brazil (Escolas Transformadoras do Brasil).
Since the beginning of the library project, a group was organized with teachers, parents and other employees. They were responsible for the books purchased and organization of the space where the library would be installed. “The children´s books we already have were scattered in our classrooms and the study books for teachers and staff were kept in improvised bookshelves in the teacher´s room”, said Silvia Reichmann, teacher and one of the school’s founders. In December 2017, a big collective working day (mutirão) was organized, with the participation of 10 parents and school employees - all of them familiar with woodwork and carpentry. It was a very productive day, and resulted in the manufacturing of 3 tables, 6 benches and 4 bookshelves, all in wood that was bought with the resources of the project. All of the work was donated by the participants. According to Silvia, “We are very happy and proud with the result of this great working day and it showed all how we have strength when we manage to organize ourselves and get together!”
The books for children and study books for teachers and staff are being bought with the resources of the project, after a survey conducted with all 24 school’s teachers about the library needs. The old books are being catalogued, and our new library also began to receive donations of books. We are very happy with this.
In the coming weeks, the school´s library group will organize another working day with the mothers and fathers to get the space ready for the big opening day, in which the children of the school will participate. The room shall be painted and decorated with simple objects, paintings, maps and curtains.
All the school team is very grateful for the financing of Dendê da Serra School´s initiative by Adventure Life. This project managed to bring to life a wishful idea of the school teachers and parents. The library is a new space in the school that will certainly improve the quality of the education offered for the children of the region and will provide the opportunity for the contact with books and to cultivate the respect for culture and knowledge.