Club Rotario de Boquete’s Tablet-Lending program continues to grow in answer to the needs of our families living in remote areas. During our pilot phase of lending just 18 Rotary Tablets, more than 72 students in grades pre-K through 12 and university have been able to continue their education during the current closure of schools. We have ordered an additional one hundred tablets to arrive mid-November to be part of the Tablet-Lending program of our Equal Opportunity for Learning (EOL) project. Our objective is to make internet-connected devices available to families in remote areas during school closure so their children can connect to their lessons and assignments currently available online.
Because school vacation starts in December, the Education Committee of Rotario de Boquete decided to work with the Director of the Boquete Library, Elsa Castillo, to develop a program to continue online learning by teachers and students during the vacation months from December through February. We are concentrating our efforts on four schools: Alto Auel, Jaramillo Abajo, Palmira Abajo and Volcancito. Ms. Catillo will assist in communicating with the directors of the schools and their teachers. We hope to increase their interest in learning how online academies can be used to support teaching and learning, and how students can continue their learning during their school vacation by coming to the library and using Rotary Tablets to access learning programs online.
After school vacation, schools may open for students to attend in person for part of the day or for alternative days with students completing their lessons and assignments at home. If so, many students will continue to need Rotary Tablets to continue their learning online.
On October 22, two EOL committee members visited Jaramillo Abajo, one of the first schools to borrow Rotary Tablets for their families. The EOL committee was warmly welcomed by the Director, Jorge Castero, three teachers, and parents from six families. Everyone in the school showed their gratitude for Rotary’s concern for their children’s education.
Rotario de Boquete’s EOL Tablet-Lending Program is grateful for the opportunity to call the Boquete Library home during the school break.
The Boquete Library is unusual as it is the first book-lending library in Panama from which books are borrowed and then returned for others to borrow. In addition to its collection of books, videos, and music CDs, the library offers world-class music concerts throughout the year. Works of local artists are featured in the gallery which often includes receptions with food and beverages. Boquete Library even includes the delightful Andrea’s Café, located on the ground floor, where visitors can relax with a cup of coffee and a light meal. Within than a year of its inauguration in February of 2012, its collection grew to more than 10,000 books with an average of 80 books being checked out daily and more than 1,000 library cards issued. From that time on, the Library has continued to grow. The building and ongoing support of the library have been generously provided by the Patricia Price Peterson Foundation.