Kuzuzangpo! My name is Andrea Chisholm and I'm an Australian primary school teacher. Last year I went with with my family to live in a rural Bhutanese community as a volunteer teacher. You can read about our adventures here: downundertothetopoftheworld.blogspot.com.au
The students were so eager to learn and their positive spirit and enthusiasm was inspiring. They worked so hard and went from being mostly non-English speaking to fluent speakers, readers and writers in a year (English is the language of instruction in all Bhutanese schools so it is critically important that they are fluent in order to do well at school).
While there I raised funds to provide books, learning materials and sports equipment for the school and wider community and I saw how even a small amount made a huge difference.
Although the school had many books, they had few books that were written specifically for Bhutanese children. Most are printed in India, Australia, USA or UK and draw on themes and topics that are hard for the Bhutanese kids to identify with as their lives are so different.
So! I have written a series of basic learn to read books specifically for young rural Bhutanese students. I have collaborated with colleagues in Bhutan to take beautiful photos to illustrate the books and a friend who is a graphic designer has voluntarily done all the design work to make them colourful and appealing to students.
We are ready to embark on printing to offer these books for 2015 Year of Reading in Bhutan. It is my goal to see these books in every primary school and library in Bhutan and I have the support of Bhutan Canada Foundation (BhutanCanada.org) to store and distribute the books. I have set an initial goal of $5000 which at approximately $3/per book will allow us to have the set of books available to over 150 schools. If we exceed the target we can aim to reach more of Bhutan's approximately 600 primary schools.
Thank you in advance for your support to make this happen!
- Parkwood Rotary
- Andrea Chisholm