Thursday, July 30, 2009

Update on Maggie Meyer's Literacy Project

Got a facebook message from Maggie the other day and her literacy project has sparked some interest in several quarters. Dr. Lemke's wife Harriet worked with Hartsville's Burry Bookstore to establish a box for books and others have done similar things. The literacy project was discussed in a previous post so I will just share with you Maggie's last note. She is a Fulbright Scholar teaching English in Malaysia:
the Note
I have been talking with Mrs. Lemke about that and I simply can't believe the outreach of support I have received for this project! People have set up five book boxes in four different states. I have a feeling that this project may end up doubling the school's library. (Currently their library is two bookcases of books/mostly manuscripts that are stapled together).
Plus, all of this comes at a time when Malaysia is really struggling with the issue of English literacy. There are strong forces in this country advocating for abolishing English totally from public schools (Even though a 1/3 of the population speaks it as their primary business language). However, there is an equal push against this movement, trying to ensure that English stays and is integrated more fully into the curriculum.
Also, the project and its results thus far, have inspired three other ETAs to take up the cause and expand the libraries in their schools with similar literacy projects. It truly feels like a worthwhile and 'fruitful' project.
Speaking of real fruit, I think I am about to explode. Fruit season is in full swing here, and everyday I am brought plastic bags full of strawberries, rambutans, lychees, bananas, mangosteens and durian. I can't bear to tell them to keep it, so I usually take a few pieces and share the rest with boarding students. It is only 9:30 a.m. and I already have a box of strawberries, a tree branch with 12 rambutans on it, and a bag of mangosteens.

Best, Maggie

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