- Published on Friday, 15 June 2012 09:01
- Written by © DrumhellerMail.com
In November of 2010, an explosion at a resort in Mexico shattered the life of a Drumheller family. The Charmont family lost their patriarch Chris and youngest child John. While the pain will likely never fade, they have found a way to remember their legacy and help those most in need of help. Last month a library was officially opened in Roatan in Johnny’s name. Johnny’s heart was inextricably linked to the Morgan Jayne Project, which supports families in Roatan dealing with HIV and AIDS. Their effort, and the effort of the Drumheller community are making a difference.
Terra Charmont graciously shared how the library came to be and here is the conclusion to last week's story.
“What’s the problem in creating a beautiful children’s library in a place where children have rarely seen a book? It’s keeping the kids OUT of it! They sneak in there before school, at recess and just on their way to the bathroom. The grade ones sneak books into their backpacks as they don't quite get the difference between borrowing and having, they LOVE it! “ Valerie Nelson – Roatan, Honduras.
Continued from last week...
On the island there was a buzz of excitement as the kids and staff realized this was going to happen. They worked hard to make a special spot for Johnny’s Library, complete with a Kinder Corner, reading center and teacher resource area. Beautiful, bright murals were painted by a local named Anthony who works with the project. The main mural shows Canada and Roatan with a bridge between, showing the bridge between our worlds is the ability to read. Bright parrots and monkeys line the walls. Shelving and furniture was trickier. It’s illegal to chop down a tree, even in your own yard, and wood is expensive. Shelves were made from cement molds from a nearby building. “Every board had to be sanded by hand to remove remaining cement and varnished with several coats to prevent termites", Val explains. “The table and chairs are made from giant trees in Guatemala, made and brought here by a woman from Quebec. It takes a village to build a library!
“An air conditioner was required to keep the books from deteriorating in the humid climate. “It was a huge eye opener for me", says Terra. “All the little things you don’t even think of… but everything came together with so many people working at it.”
Now the school has a library to be proud of and the kids are thrilled. We sent only the best quality. These kids have a chance to learn and grow in a whole new way. The reading materials are bright, fun and modern. And the learning resources? “Wish I had a lot of this stuff when I was teaching, this is incredible. Resources that Canadian teachers would be jealous of!" says John’s grandma Heather, who worked as a special needs educational assistant and has dedicated her own garage as a workshop for the library."
The library Grand Opening was on May 11 at Luisa Trundle School. The ribbon cutting was done by Fred Makowecki, founder of the Morgan Jayne Project, on his daughter Morgan’s birthday. The kids wrote and acted out a play of how Johnny’s Library came about, made presentations, sang and the local band played. They served John’s favorite lunch, pizza. Another donor group, Amigos of Honduras, gave all the kids school supplies and a book to take home, for most of them it is the first one they’ll own.
“It was an amazing day. The library is beautiful and the children are so grateful", Fred wrote in a note home.
Last week children in the school were asked, “What are the three most beautiful places in Roatan?” Ishmael's hand shot up.. “Tabiana Beach, Parrot Tree Plantation and Johnny’s Library!” Thank you to everyone who helped make this dream a reality.
If you would like to help with this ongoing project please call Terra at 403-823-8676.