Group to give books to children

Published 4:26 pm Thursday, June 4, 2009

By By Lydia Grimes
features reporter

Deborah Marriott has spent most of her life working with children and books. She has semi-retired after having been a teacher and elementary school principal, but she said she never realized how much she had left to do.
Last year, Marriott made her first mission trip to Costa Rica when she, along with other members of First United Methodist Church, traveled there to carry wheelchairs.
At the time she learned about the Give-a-Book Foundation. Since she had always worked with books and children, it seemed like it was the perfect opportunity to do something that was just what she was looking for.
The Give-a-Book Foundation  estimates 61 percent of children worldwide do not have books in the home. The foundation buys books and sent them to Costa Rica with the help of the Rotary Club.
There the books are distributed to schools located along the rivers. In fact, there is one group that Marriott met who run a floating library, taking books to the outlying areas along the Sarapiqui River.
An American couple run a banana boat along the river delivering books to the schools and children along the way, Marriott said.
All of this has not stopped Marriott from deciding to make yet another trip this summer to the area. She, along with her son, Will; Leeza Nelson, and her daughter, Mary Chandler; and Anna Grace Glaize will travel to Costa Rica with a group from Pensacola this month to work with the couple to deliver books and also to visit the schools in the area.
There is no public transportation in these villages and rarely do the people ever leave the region in which they live. Roads are either in very poor condition or do not exist at all. Only some of the homes have electricity and even fewer have telephone service. Villagers have little access to public services such as libraries and computers.
SIGA Ministry Partners  Inc. has constructed a library and learning center in the small village of Arbolitos de Sarapiqui, which has a population of around 200 people. It offers programs and activities for the community  and it has become a spot for the locals to gather, Marriott said. The Floating Library is one of the services offered to those in outlying areas. It carries school supplies and books to small schools along the rivers.