Library for All is a new program we implemented last year through Restavek Freedom.  The program was designed to help kids develop their reading skills in multiple languages through the use of tablet computers.  Thirty-three children in restavek took part in the sessions we kicked off this last school year.

The program proved to be very valuable for these kids who would otherwise not have the opportunity to interact with modern technology.  During our sessions, the kids learned how to use tablets to study the environment.  They explored important concepts, such as the water cycle, that motivated them to protect their environment while mastering their use of technology.

One of the kids told us laughing, “I didn’t really know what a tablet was before. When you guys first came here to talk to us about using “Library for All” and “tablets”, I thought you meant tablèt (a Haitian food)!  Now, after the sessions you’ve led, I can see progress in my reading.  I also know more about trees and how they help the environment.  I really hope you will have this program again next year!”

At the conclusion of the school year, the Library for All team did an evaluation to see what they could improve for next year.  We asked the kids about their expectations for the program, and one of them asked, “Can we take the tablets home?”  I posed the question, “Which is more important, getting to keep the tablets as yours or obtaining knowledge through the tablets?  All of kids responded unanimously: “Knowledge is more important!”

Library for All helped the kids so much last year; they now know how to use tablet computers, and learned many things that will help them grow academically and increase their knowledge.  They also saw their reading skills improve in the process.  Most importantly, they enjoyed learning while we enjoyed sharing with them the key to their future: education.

Samuel Jean Baptiste, Child Advocate