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The vision of BISEE Books is to promote reading and literacy, and thereby improve opportunities for disadvantaged children. We provide funding for the BISEE Book Bus, which operates in Ecuador in partnership with Girandula, the Ecuadorian association of children’s books, and the British School, Quito, as part of their Community Action and Service programme.
The BISEE Book Bus works with children in and around Quito, and beyond, who need our help most. The bus travels to schools, childrens groups and reading events, providing resources, energy, ideas and time to read with the children.
Working in small groups volunteers spend time with the children, reading to them, encouraging them to read aloud or allowing them to choose their own book to read to themselves. We also encourage the children to dramatise books they have read or create a piece of art from it; the required resources are carried on the bus. This helps increase their understanding of literature, boosts confidence, allows them to develop their imagination, curiosity and creative skills and, most of all, enables them to discover the pleasure of reading.
In 2016, Girandula and the BISEE Book Bus have been working in the hardest hit of the earthquake affected areas of Ecuador (provinces of Manabi and Esmeraldes). This included working on projects to create libraries in two towns: Don Juan and Chamanga. Using their volunteers and funded by BISEE Books, Girandula have conducted workshops for both children and adults. They have also provided training sessions and resources to enable the reading activities to continue when they leave.
In August 2016, the original BISEE Book Bus had to be sold and a new smaller vehicle is currently being sought. Meanwhile the activity of BISEE Books in Ecuador has continued using other vehicles and by establishing permanent libraries.
BISEE Books also provides grants to other charities and NGOs working in Ecuador, with similar aims and objectives to our own. We are now looking to suitable partners in other regions of the world to similarly help disadvantaged children.
Working in partnership, we can transform the lives of even more children through books.
Our visits are often the only time when these children have access to a wide variety of books, otherwise all they have are their government-issue textbooks. They often have never read story books, or sat and listened to a story read to them. They have never experienced the enjoyment of really being absorbed by a story, nor have they had the opportunity to develop their imagination through reading. Just a few minutes of listening to a story each day can help improve children’s attention span and concentration, helping them in all aspects of their education.