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JOURNEY OF LIGHT

2016-05-31 来源:未知 浏览量:120
I am short on sleep. My eyes droop as the old bus on which I ride bounces over the mountains and graveled roads on its seven hour journey to Huoshan in Anhui Province. I am exhausted from the days of preparation prior to this trip. In my drowsy state, I reflect upon my own journey in co-founding UTRP, the Upright Teenager Reading Project.
In June of 2013, together with Zhanqi, my friend, I launched a nonprofit organization and began a two year plan to build a library in each of eight selected elementary schools in Anhui Province. The main goal was to offer age-appropriate literature, as well as science and reading programs on a bi-weekly basis. A secondary goal was to raise public awareness and advocate for children whose parents have migrated to the cities for jobs.
Proudly, I marveled at how much we have accomplished in the first year. Since the program has begun, my five team members and I have collected over 2,000 children's books nationwide, with half of them already delivered to the first four established libraries. I am proud that we are at where we could only dreamed of one year ago because the process is complicated and the every progress cost enormous efforts. The work just to accomplish that much entailed endless meetings, school selection, strategic planning, gathering book donations, fund raising and grant writing, designing the courses, recruiting volunteers, and transporting the books, just to name some of the tasks.
Tomorrow, this month's reading trip begins at the same school we started our trip last summer. I thought back to my first one. I was determined, enthusiastic and ready for my first school project last summer.
When I arrived at the Songlin Elementary School, I was quite surprised and dismayed to see a dilapidated room with furniture whose paint were peeling off furniture and dust-covered shelves with old and really worn out books that had pages missing. In front of the rackety teacher's desk, we introduced ourselves and started the first class nervously. We had no sooner finished the first class than the power went out due to a storm. Twenty-five children aged four to nine, all burst out crying or shouting in panic. I heard bumping around and cries of pain. Not a great start to our program, indeed. Suddenly, a terrified girl grabbed me and asked me to hug her. As I felt her calm down, a warm feeling came over me. At that moment, I knew I belonged here. I came to feel that UTRP is no longer just a plan, it is a life-long commitment.
The electricity soon became available and we continued out complain successfully. I find it ironic that those children were literally, as well as metaphorically, in the dark. The educational in the areas are extremely limited, the traditional thoughts that agriculture is more important make education harder, and the temptation of games is far less attractive than that of games.
I think that if we had not initiated this program, delivered the books and urged them to read, and organized the classes, they would have remained in the darkness of illiteracy. I feel proud that we are able to give an educational boost to at least a few poverty-stricken villages. It is now my calling to bring these children light through books. Yes, we are making a difference in the lives of some children, but we have much, much more to do.
As my eyes slide open near the end of my trip, I think I see the light of a thousand dancing fireflies. I smile.
上一篇:A NEVER-ENDING JOURNEY 下一篇:THE STAR OF KILIMANJARO
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