Lesson boxes for Bonaire

Rochelle Heerema

In 50 municipalities in the Netherlands, a special Opportunity Lesson Box is used to stimulate reading among young people and to discuss, among others, poverty-related topics using the books. At the request of the library of Bonaire, an adapted lesson box will come to Bonaire for the coming school year.

Rochelle Heerema, member of the Rotary Club Den Haag-Nieuwspoort told this at a lunch meeting of the Rotary Club Bonaire. Rochelle noticed that at the school in her neighborhood there were poverty issues that were not being talked about. Children who could not participate in activities where a contribution was asked, children without breakfast to school, etc. The children could talk about it openly, but the adults had difficulty with it.

Rochelle took the initiative in 2019 to establish the Positive Minds foundation to in particular help young people growing up in poverty to develop their talents. The foundation has developed a teaching kit to encourage reading among young people and talk about themes around poverty through the books. 

The teaching box contains not only books, but also a lesson plan and tips for teachers using the box in the classroom. There are also assignments for students intended for different grade levels so that appropriate assignments are available for all children. 

Original assignments for small groups like: make a song about what you’ve read. There are also audio books in the package. At the request of the library of Bonaire, the foundation now explored the possibilities of making teaching kits for the ABC islands as well.

To identify the need, Rochelle spoke with the Bonaire Reading and Writing Foundation and the library, among others. She has also been to Aruba and Curaçao. Together they want to create a teaching box adapted for the ABC islands in which Papiamento and Spanish books will not be missing.

The intention is that the teaching box will be available in the coming school year. Schools can plan the box into the teaching schedule and borrow it from the library. That way the box can be used throughout the year. Perhaps it will also be possible to invite authors into a lesson.

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