(from newsletter)

A child has the right to their own wonder, to their enthusiasm, to their innate curiosity as they explore the world around them. A child has the right to ask questions and be heard, to hear answers from adults without impatience or contempt. A child has the right to create beauty as their heart compels them, to be encouraged in their community without fear of apathy or ridicule. A child has the right to learn freely.

Too often we adults get caught up in ourselves, in the demands of each day as we try to survive. Nowhere is this more true than in the poorest areas of the world, where survival demands its due in every moment of every day. Too many of our children have the eyes of adults, weary well beyond their years, their wonder stolen much too soon.

But there’s a new hope this year, arriving in the form of little laptop computers from OLPC. With these new laptops, Waveplace Foundation is teaching Caribbean kids to become digital storytellers, to use these little machines to help nurture their talents for the benefit of all.

As adults, we see computers as a tool for our work. We see only their pragmatic side, and so think of computers as a necessary job skill. At Waveplace, we see something else as we watch children with their new laptops. We see pride in their eyes at being given such a special gift. We see excitement as they learn to do wondrous new things. We see determination to solve the next puzzle, a look we imagine on their faces in the future as they tackle the world’s troubles.

To a child, having their own laptop is like having a special confidant, a secret sharer, one with infinite patience and continual encouragement. In the Waveplace course, children learn to program these computers, which is a creative and effective way to teach problem solving. The confidence they get when they’re able to do this is incredible. It’s changing how they feel about all learning. They become more enthusiastic and more engaged.

More than this, these laptops connect them to the world. Just as books have carried wisdom through the ages, these computers connect children to teachers and students from afar. Even as the harshness of their home begins to crush their spirit, these laptops are a window to what’s possible, to the certain knowledge that they have a right to learn, and grow, and dream.

Not bad for two-hundred bucks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *