A few weeks ago, Bingerville hosted a Grand Opening of their new computer center, and I was invited to speak. It was the coolest thing!
Since last I'd been there, another organization had been inspired to provide desks for the computers, and the center was really looking nice. They decorated the room, and put ribbons on the computers, made a plague, and we had a ribbon cutting ceremony. We even made the afternoon news!
There were a bunch of the obligatory speeches, from all of the obligatory officials etc., and then, some of the students danced and recited poetry. It was wonderful.
Oddly, and I guess, fittingly, I felt compelled to speak of my father. So I told the boys how he'd grown up in an orphanage, too, much like this one. I told them how much he had loved reading, even as a boy, how he said it opened the world to him. I told them how he dreamed of seeing the places and doing the things he read about, and how even though he was told not to expect much from life, he had other plans. See, his reading inspired him, gave him dreams, and hope. He wanted to go to college. Be a teacher. A research chemist. Finally, a medical doctor. He wanted to have a beautiful wife, a family and a nice house. And, I told them, he achieved all of his dreams. And they could, too.
I wanted them to understand the importance of reading. Computers, the internet -- it's all great stuff. But its not the technology that is important - it's the content. It's all the stuff that is available there -- through reading. Books, magazines, internet - whatever form it comes in, it is important to feed not only the body, but the sould and the mind as well.
With that we launched the second phase of the project -- to help build a library along with the computer center - the "Food for Thought" Book Drive!
See more pictures at my webgallery at http://gallery.me.com/piotyves