I've been sitting here quietly observing what the Dreamblogue has been getting up to for a while now. I thought maybe it's time to give it another little plug. Not that this post is going to do much to help the cause, but this is about all I can do for them, anyway.
And it's good to see real results, not just pretty pictures, but actual students really benefitting.
The first time I visited my wife's home, I was shocked by the lack of books in the house. She had told me that there weren't many books around when she grew up, but even so, I was shocked. Now, the lack of books in my wife's childhood did not stop her from doing well. She has great, supportive, open-minded parents who made sure she would achieve all she could- and who still support her. And she got some pretty good opportunities, too. The thing is, I'm always aware that in China there are still millions living in pretty rough circumstances without the opportunities my wife had as a child, millions of children growing up without access to decent education or books or opportunities or much of anything. It's not necessarily the fault of local governments, either. Sure, many of them are bad, but there are plenty who are doing their best to provide what they can. And you certainly can't blame their parents. Too many people are simply stuck trying to make the best with the very little they have.
Books are important. They add so much more to a childhood and an education. Books don't only provide information: They open the mind and imagination up to the big wide world out there. An unbelievable huge amount of my childhood was spent devouring books and magazines, and a lot of that devouring was half reading half dreaming. Seriously, even non-fiction could have my mind wandering the outer limits of the universe. It's good to see people getting good books into schools that otherwise would not be able to afford them. At the very least, these new libraries will expand and supplement the education local schools are able to offer, giving the students the knowledge, ability, and linguistic skills they'll need to make something better of their lives and pass on still better opportunities to their own kids.I just had a horrible thought: I know of a few too many schools, including state-level key schools, who seem to think their libraries are things that should be kept locked up and hidden away lest the students get their hands on the resources they provide. Their libraries (and many other resources) should only see the light of day when important visitors or parents of prospective students are present. Fortunately the Library Project is not interested in schools for the spoilt brats of rich idiots.