On Wednesday, December 19th 2012, Judith’s Reading Room opened its second library in Albania in the historic village of Polenë, outside the city of Korçë. At the primary school there, teachers and students spent the last day of school before the winter break, organizing books and setting-up the English language library. The library will be used to help improve students’ reading skills. The school in Polenë serves about sixty students enrolled in all grade levels from kindergarten to ninth grade, and has a staff of eight teachers. Children have English classes two to three times a week starting in third grade.
In addition to enjoying a visit from Santa Claus, children at the school were able to spend some time looking through the school’s new library which included many interesting titles requested by the teachers. The children made signs expressing their love of reading, and were excited to finally receive the shipment of books. They were happy that Judith’s Reading Room was able to provide them with the books. Dennis Dias, a local Peace Corps Volunteer who coordinated the event, helped teachers distribute books to the children.
Zana Begollari, an English teacher in Polenë, gave a short speech commemorating the event, saying “These books are important to helping us communicate freely in English as a foreign language. Step by step, we must practice the English language. In these books are words we must use daily.” Fredi Mançi, another teacher at the school, explained “These books are new and different. We can all make use of them, the teachers as well, and there is a good possibility of improving our English skills as well in order to share the joy of these books with the children.” Ilir Filovani, the director of this school, said the school had a great need for the books and appreciated the gift.
The children remarked on the familiarity of some characters in the books like Sleeping Beauty and SpongeBob, and were motivated to start reading to learn more about them. One student, Christina, read a passage from her favorite book to the rest of the students present. At the end of the event, Ms Begollari led her English students to say “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
Judith’s Reading Room had previously opened a library in the neighboring village of Qatrom.