Eager young readers at the Maap Early Childhood Education Center in the northeast of Yap have received the first of three boxes of books donated by Habele.
A US nonprofit, Habele was established by former Peace Corps Volunteers who served -many of them as library volunteers- in Micronesia. Habele provides donations of books, as well as tuition scholarships, tools for traditional craftsmen, and equipment for high school-based robotics across the Federated States.
In February, Leah Torwan, an early childhood teacher in Maap reached out to Habele.
Torwan explained that her own two-year old daughter was signed up for Young Island Readers, Habele’s direct book-a-month program for children birth through five years of age. She had been bringing those books, sent for her daughter’s use at home, to the center owing to the lack of books.
“I’m not sure about the other ECEs but our center lacks books,” relayed Torwan. “We have under 15 books; old and mostly damaged. The children who’ve enrolled since previous years are getting tired of the same stories being read over and over.”
At that time Habele sent three boxes, totaling 77 lbs of age-appropriate books for the children to read at the Maap ECE center. Owing to the complications mail service to Micronesia has recently endured, the first of the three boxes only reached Yap this week.
Year to date, Habele has provided 25 boxes of books to school-based libraries and early child education centers across Micronesia. In the same period, Habele’s Young Island Readers has provided a further 1,346 books directly to children under the age of five years. Last year 81 boxes for schools and centers, as well as a further 2,222 individual books sent directly to young children, were donated.
“As individual Americans with personal ties to Micronesia, we who volunteer, donate, and organize the work of Habele are eager to help,” explained Neil Mellen, Habele’s Executive Director. “We are grateful for the opportunity to support hard working parents and educators such as Leah Torwan, who are themselves the ones expanding children’s horizons through reading.”