Monday, February 4, 2013

Calvirio Boys' Home

My family is supporting a school/crèche in Rio de Janeiro. The Calvirio Boys' Home has been functioning since the 1990s and has seen many boys from precarious situations come through it's doors. The home has a capacity for 25 and is also a school for the poorest children in the neighbourhood. The school includes a creche and takes babies and toddlers, to care for many little ones who were left to their own resources.

shower doors

Last year we had the opportunity to send a financial gift and it was well used to provide gates, shower doors, and half doors for cupboards. Imagine a shower door being an unaffordable luxury.

Hallway Roof
When we had an opportunity again at the beginning of this year, our thoughts immediately turned once again to the Calvirio Boys' Home. For many years Calvirio’s roof has been giving problems and now leaks in every room! When the rainy season is on, Nov - Feb/March, water just pours in. Several attempts have been made to fix it, which worked for a while, but in reality it needs to be completely replaced and the cost is prohibitive and so has never been a possibility. Just recently one of the staff slipped on the wet floor and fractured her knee and everyone decided that somehow something had to be done. They looked around again and this time found a company who is prepared to accept 3 monthly payments, instead of the normal 30 days. The total cost will be nearly $12,000 USD.

Water Damage
I'm inviting you to consider supporting this project by making a donation at and designating it to this project. 

If you'd like more information or photos, you can contact me at bezrathashem.blogspot [at] gmail [dot] com

Friday, February 1, 2013

Empowering Home Learners

Today I had the privilege of speaking at the Ontario Library Association's SuperConference. This annual event bearings together library staff from across Ontario to hear from keynotes speakers and colleagues in the field. My co-presenter, Edna Latone, and I spoke on the topic "Empowering Home Learners." We started off presenting statistics from several studies on homeschoolers in order to provide some context on who homeschoolers are. We then shared the results of an Ontario-wide survey Edna conducted in December 2012 and January 2013 - very fresh data!

It was a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness about homeschoolers and the role libraries can play in empowering them in their learning journey. Participants were surprised to learn that parents don't require teaching certification and were very interested in learning how to provide useful programs.

I'm excited to share next at the OCHEC convention in May about how homeschoolers can better access library services.