16 February, 2010

"I know how to read!" -- a story from OLPC Uruguay

Uruguay has distributed the XO to all 100,000 of its primary school age children. And now they are sharing stories, including this moving story (in machine translation) from a teacher working with OLPC in the town of Durazno:
In my 6th grade class I had a 14-year-old student that didn't know how to read. He was very anxious to receiving his laptop. He had serious behavior and social problems that he was controlling inside the classrom. When the computers arrived we distributed them and I proposed to write a text in (the XO activity) Write.

He had liked very much a play at the school. He had been moved by and identified with Nacho, one of the characters.

Then he told me:

- Teacher, I want to write about Nacho... but I don't know.
- Come and tell me what you want to write.

He told me orally. He brought his laptop, entered to Write and wrote everything he proposed himself. He knew almost all the phonemes and graphemes, but he didn't know how to join them.

- What a beautiful work you did! Now you have to read it to your classmates.
- But I don't know how to read?
- Ah, it doesn't matter, you will know because you did it,
I said in a low voice with complicity and a wink.

He read it many times in silence, he passed it to his notebook, he stood in the front and with tears in his eyes, he read the text to the class.

- I know how to read, I know how to read! - he would shout, excited and smiling!

For him it was an unforgettable day, he wrote and the read aloud... then he read simple texts written in his classmate's XOs... this is how he started his literacy.

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