Lit­er­acy Pro­grams

The Playa Times Riviera Maya's English Newspaper - - Art & Cul­ture - BY JOE MAL­DON­ADO

Al­though there are no of­fi­cial fig­ures, Playa del Car­men seems to re­flect Mex­ico’s ten­dency as a whole to have prob­lems read­ing. Na­tional pro­grams such as La Hora del Cuento (Sto­ry­time) and Cír­cu­los de Lec­tura (Read­ing Cir­cles) have in­spired a need for sim­i­lar pro­grams for chil­dren and young adults at the lo­cal level.

Ac­cord­ing to the di­rec­tor of schools and li­braries in Sol­i­dari­dad, Javier Ba­surto Cam­pos, the pri­mary strat­egy to boost read­ing in the com­mu­nity is via the pro­gram La Bi­b­lioteca en Tu Es­cuela (Your School Li­brary) - a mo­bile li­brary that takes books to ed­u­ca­tion cen­ters.

He com­mented that the prob­lem is the cul­ture, many peo­ple are not fa­mil­iar with the process of find­ing and check­ing out books in li­braries.

It is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that Mex­i­cans on av­er­age read 2.8 books per year and only two per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion has a per­ma­nent read­ing habit. One way to pro­mote read­ing is to im­ple­ment pro­grams that in­volve par­ents read­ing with their chil­dren.

Al­though there is still a lot of progress to be made, Ba­surto Cam­pos said that in 2013 -when cur­rent gov­ern­ment lead­ers took of­fice- they man­aged to in­crease the av­er­age num­ber of vis­i­tors to li­braries from 800 to al­most 1,500.

Playa is no dif­fer­ent from other towns in Quin­tana Roo; as a re­sult, the state in­ter­change pro­gram has cre­ated an op­por­tu­nity to ex­change books with other com­mu­ni­ties.

As an ad­di­tional in­cen­tive to visit li­braries, a se­ries of work­shops are be­ing im­ple­mented; for ex­am­ple, cour­ses on Maya and Ger­man lan­guage.

“There are not any num­bers on how many books are read on av­er­age here in the city. We are cur­rently fo­cus­ing on chil­dren’s read­ing, and we hope their par­ents are en­cour­aged to start a read­ing com­mu­nity,” said Ba­surto Cam­pos.

The head of Cul­ture for Sol­i­dari­dad also has im­ple­mented strate­gies to pro­mote a love of read­ing among adults, such as theLi­bro Olvi­dado (For­got­ten Book) pro­gram, which leaves var­i­ous books in cafe­te­rias, pub­lic trans­porta­tion, malls, and other places.

“It is a very sim­ple pro­gram. In­stead of hav­ing books, which were do­nated to the mu­nic­i­pal­ity, sit on a shelf where no­body takes them, they are out on the street,” ex­plained Luis Ernesto López Var­gas, head of Casa de la Cul­tura in Sol­i­dari­dad.

If you find one of these books, the best thing to do is read it and share it with oth­ers by “for­get­ting it” in some pub­lic place.

Mex­i­cans read of the pop­u­la­tion

reads reg­u­larly

Playa’s mu­nic­i­pal li­brary is lo­cated at Juarez Ave and 15th St., and in Can­cun it is on Chichen Itza Ave. and He-Zaba St. / Pho­tos:Pal­co­quin­ta­nar­roense

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