Brooke Pike started working with Natik as a Fellow in early 2012. She and her husband, Elliot, were the first participants in the Natik Fellowship Program, and worked in Chiapas, Mexico. At the end of her fellowship, Brooke transitioned to the Board of Directors where she serves on the Executive Team as Treasurer. Brooke holds a Masters of Arts from SIT Graduate Institute where she focused on program planning and design and a BS in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire. in this blog she reflects on the importance of books!
For my baby shower when I was pregnant with my son we requested that people bring their favorite childhood book as a gift. Being from a family of avid readers, I wanted to create a library for my son and provide him access to the learning, creativity, and imagination that books inspire. My son is now a year and a half and we aim to read at least one book together each day. We all look forward to this time – to sit together and connect through the colorful pictures and words on each page.
The children in Mexico and Guatemala are no different than my son. They are drawn to books but many do not have a home library like we have the privilege of referring to each night. In Santiago Atitlán, the children crowd around the Puerta Abierta librarian who brings a new bag of books to the school each week, anticipating the new stories that will unfold. In Zinacantán, children attend remedial education classes on Saturdays, even after having gone to school during the week, because they are discovering the joy and value of reading at the Yo’onik Community Learning Center.
In April 2013, Natik started the John E Pike book fund in memory of my father. It brings me joy to know my father’s love of books is shared by his grandson and the next generation of readers in the communities in Guatemala and México where Natik works. This book fund enables the programs to bring books and creative learning to hundreds of children every week.
For more information about the book fund or to donate, click here.