July 31, 2010

Back to school: Fall 2010 wishlist

Below are items we are hoping to receive in the next month so that we can support local families by giving school supplies to the kids.

Note that items on the list below are still needed as well!

Our assistant director, Carlos, speaks English and can answer any questions you have. Please do not hesitate to leave your donation with either Carlos or Leo, our director, whether it's a donation in kind or a cash donation. They will ask you to sign our guest book with your name, address and a description of what you donated.

Any of these supplies can be purchased locally in Playa del Carmen at any of the large supermarkets, superstores or office supply stores such as Sam's, Cityclub, Walmart, Mega, Chedraui, or Office Depot/Max.

--notebooks (softcover) & composition books (hardcover), both lined and with graph paper, standard size (8-1/2 x 11)
--half size notebooks, hardcover: these are only available locally; we've never seen this style available in the U.S.
--blank white paper (8-1/2 x 11) such as copy paper or any standard paper sold in bulk
--geometry sets that include pencil compass, triangles, protractor, etc.
--child safe scissors with rounded points
--thick or jumbo crayons in sets that can be distributed individually (8- or 12-pack sets)
--colored pencils, also in packs (12 colors per set) that can be distributed individually
--pencil sharpeners
--pens in red, blue and black
--2 color pens in red & blue
--permanent markers in black, blue & red
--glue sticks
--calculators, preferably solar powered
--clear book covers

July 30, 2010

Updated General Wish List 2010

We now have an English speaking staff member, Carlos, who can answer any questions you have. Please do not hesitate to leave your donation with either Carlos or Leo, whether it's a donation in kind or a cash donation. They will ask you to sign our guest book with your name, address and a description of what you donated.

Most needed items:
--Prizes for our reading program: kids receive prizes every month for reading the most books-- scroll down to the updated 2010 list below to see some suggested items
--laminating sheets, various sizes
--HP printer cartridges, the following models: hp 21 black; hp 22 tricolor; and hp 95 tricolor
--Labels refills for label maker: DYMO brand, size is 1/2" wide x 13' long
--Camera batteries, 2 lithium batteries, CR2, 3V
--Used computers, running Windows XP or later versions. Even just a CPU would help, we could get a screen locally for low cost. (Note that Mexican customs allows people to bring in 1 desktop and 1 laptop computer per person duty-free)
--Notebooks, Spiral notebooks, lined (college ruled), 100 sheets; spiral or bound notebooks with graph paper, 80-100 sheets. Also loose sheets of graph paper.
--Erasers, hand held rather than pencil toppers.
--Geometry sets, that contain pencil compass, protractor, ruler, & triangles
--Poster board, white or any color. Sam's and City Club in Playa del Carmen sell this in packs of 100-200 sheets
--Letter size clear plastic sleeves that can be used in a 3 ring binder
--String trimmer (weed whacker) for garden maintenance (too rocky to pass a regular lawn mower)
--2-3 staplers we have plenty of staples just need the stapler!
--packs of solid colored craft foam sheets, used for arts and crafts projects

A few items we DON'T need because we have plenty are:
-pencils (regular or mechanical)
-scotch tape
-pocket folders
-flash cards
-wrist watches

Items for our fabulously popular clothing bazaar fund-raisers. We are having bazaars every other month, so if you're coming down and looking to clean out a few closets, we'd be happy to get your gently used clothes!
Our most popular item is clothing for kids. Small or medium adult sizes also sell well. Anything XL or larger is simply too big for the locals who come to the bazaars.
Other items we sell well:
--anything for infants or youth sizes, or small adult sizes, LIGHT clothing-shorts, t-shirts, skorts, bathing suits, camis, tank tops, flip-flops, sneakers, b-ball caps, sun hats, umbrellas, any trendy clothes - Old Navy, Children's Place, Circo, Gap... Light SHORT skirts - long ones are too long for locals.

Toys/prizes for our after-school reading program:
please remember, NO broken toys, NO big toys (no room in crowded homes), NO toys or games that require knowledge of English, and NO toys that need batteries (no money to replace them).
some suggested toy items:
Ball caps, backpacks, cool notebooks, binders or folders, frisbees, jump ropes,
toy car sets, stuffed animals (any kind), jewelry-making sets, bracelet/necklace/bead making kits, hair accessories kits and sets, any kind of art kit (paint by number/velvet/water-color), dolls, doll clothing, anything Dora the Explorer or Diego the Animal rescuer, building sets, kites, soccer balls, pog sets, airplanes, toy car kits, maze or other puzzle books (that don't require English to solve), coloring books, punchy balloon things, kids chemistry sets, or nature explorer sets, or any kind of science oriented toys, water toys: rafts, other inflatable toys, balls for playing in the ocean, snorkels, masks, balls (baseball, football, soccer, volleyball, any ball!), kites, tote bags, or small purses/change purses for girls, puppets.

suggested items for older kids (ages 12-15): Hannah Montana items such as folders, notebooks, pencil cases, etc., date books/agendas with adolescent themes, diaries, pen sets, cd cases, pencil cases, music boxes, jewelery boxes, backpacks.

Or ask your own kids, grandkids, nephews & nieces, they can tell you what's cool and what's not! Better yet, ask them to come along on a shopping trip and help you pick out stuff to bring, they'll love it!

School/office supplies:
(Note that many of these heavier items can be purchased at reasonable prices locally (in Playa del Carmen) at Sam's, Walmart, Office Depot/Office Max or any of the large grocery or club stores. We mention this since people may not want to pay luggage fees for hauling down suitcases full of paper!)

--work books with math (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) or writing exercises for preschool age, and elementary grade levels.
--Blank sheets of white paper (letter size), copy & multi-purpose paper is just fine (we don't need the expensive stuff)
--Blank sheets of colored computer printer paper, various colors
--Blocks of white drawing paper or newsprint quality paper (the pages in these are somewhat larger than letter size, we are not looking for the fancy/expensive stuff, just the type they sell in office supply stores)
--liquid glue, such as Elmer's white glue
--AA batteries
--water based/washable liquid paints such as crayola kids paint
--watercolor sets
--colored pencils (with 12 colors per set)
--labels refills for label maker: DYMO brand, size is 1/2" wide x 13' long
--Play Doh (or generic brand)-- having them in the small, standard size cans helps it keep longer in this climate. Sets of various colors (3-5 cans per set).
--small plastic trays or baskets to hold pencils, 10-15
--1 cork board, measuring approx 2 x 3 ft.
-- children's plastic aprons to use when doing art projects, see image for example:
--stackable paper trays (at least 10) see image for example:

Bigger ticket items:
--items to create a reading corner: an area rug measuring 6x8 or 8x1o and comfortable cushions or small bean bags
--a small all in one printer/scanner/copier and some extra ink cartridges
-- Donations to purchase a fire extinguisher & evacuation signs. This is necessary given the amount of paper and books in the library environment, to assure the safety of children and staff.
--a small library book cart for shelving books, with 3 shelves, see image for example:

--easels for children to use for painting/drawing, see image for example:

Items for library buildings & grounds:
--portable racks to hang clothes on during bazaars
--child size folding plastic or wood chairs & tables
--hanging bird feeders, or material for kids to make bird feeders or bird houses
--solar powered malibu lights to illuminate walkway at night (see image)

Some book titles we're interested in having in Spanish:
Animacion a la lectura, by Isabel Sole
Sobre estrategia de lectura, by Margarita Gomez Palacios
Los Dibujos de los Ninos, by Antonio Machon

have questions? Email us at: akumallibrary@gmail.com