We donate story books to schools and many children have never had the chance to read a book on their own. Materials in most rural public schools are very limited, and even the government supplied textbooks are often limited or have not been supplied in years at a time. Storybooks cost anywhere between $15-20 US dollars, and this is often unaffordable for even middle-class families. Even with the money, Honduran book stores carry an extremely limited supply of Spanish children’s books, so all storybooks are a special treat for students across the country.
Step 1: Application
Books are distributed to schools through an application process that verifies need, community commitment, and that the books will be used effectively. Staff will work with the school to make sure the application is filled out correctly, and then jointly finalize a plan with the school in how to administer the books if a school is chosen. We will do all that is possible to make sure that all schools who apply are approved. To date, all schools who have applied have received books.
The application process requires that the community organizations work together to apply and pay a nominal fee depending on the amount of students. Our application can be found here translated in English for donors to understand exactly how our schools apply and the work they must do to obtain books.
Step 2: Teacher Development
Teachers are then required to take a teacher development workshop to talk together about ways to make the books most effective in the classroom. Read more about our teacher training here.
Step 3: School Presentation
Usually between 50-300 books are given to each school depending on the number of students. Books are formally presented to the community including teachers, school staff, students, and parents. In the book presentation, students also receive a workshop in how to treat the books, and why books are important. Parents and students then get a chance to read together.
Currently, the majority of our books get donated or purchased through local libraries in Colorado with Friends of the Library organizations. We love our alliances with the libraries because not only are they fellow book-lovers, but we can simultaneously support each other. We also get large donations from groups or volunteers that do book drives and bring us books directly. For this reason, our greatest need is financial assistance in transporting the books.
Book donations get to Honduras in all kinds of ways thanks to individual and group volunteers who bring the books down as checked luggage. The Chispa Project accepts gently used and new storybooks in both Spanish and English, for K-12. Children’s books in Spanish for grades K-6 are the greatest need, and especially beginner readers.
If you would like to directly participate in donating books to a Honduran school, considering doing a volunteer project with us. Book presentations are done by our organization, but we also often partner alongside of organizations or individuals who would like to bring and present the books themselves. We can teach Spanish-speaking volunteers to do the presentations themselves, and set up in areas where volunteers are already working or visiting. Click here to read more about how to work with us to bring books on your own trip to Honduras.
If you have used or new books you’d like to mail to us, please contact us to know when to expect your book shipment. There are many ways to donate books to the Chispa Project, and more information is provided below.
If you already have gently used or new Spanish books to send to us, please contact us to get the most currently shipping address of the next volunteer group bringing books to Honduras.
Choosing exactly which books to donate can be a blast, especially when you can find some of your own childhood favorites in Spanish. We’ve made a list on Amazon of some possible book choices in Spanish (not bilingual) if you’d like help choosing. Or, consider using CapitalOneShopping.com – a free tool to compare prices while book shopping.
Thanks to our alliances, we are able to purchase books at a cheaper rate from libraries and companies. We also always need support in transportation costs. Consider making a financial donation to make the most effective donation.