Buki Bum (Book Boom) The Beginning

Listen, talk, care and share Give your child the love of books

Yes, it’s November! The month of books and children and families and the pleasure of reading… and Buki Bum! This Sunday, November 7th, Aruba will be BUMbarded again with lots of books… for freeeeeee! And this reading frenzy will go on this whole month😀 How?

Families with children aged 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and/or 5 years will receive a wonderful bag of books plus lots of surprises, IF they participate with the workshop “How to read books aloud to my child?”

In 2009 the island of Aruba was introduced to the pilot version of Bookstart: Buki Bum. Our foundation, Fundacion Papiamente, would give thousands of books away to families with children born in 2006! The only requirement was their participation in a workshop (no longer than 45 minutes) about the importance of reading to small children before they start school, to inspire, stimulate and create a love of reading that will give these kids a flying start in life. But most of all to show that books are fun, especially when read aloud together.

We (the most dynamic and positive team ever) expected a tsunami of enthusiastic parents on that very first Buki Bum event on Sunday – parents had to work during the rest of the week. We had it all figured out: babysitters and beverages and the perfect location with enough chairs for every eligible parent present. We were wondering – hours before the big start – how we would cope with the massiveness of the crowd. Plan B and C and if we couldn’t handle it all, what then?

The first Buki Bum workshop was a real moment of truth, of ‘could-we-be-so-wrong-or-did-aliens-abduct-all-those-overly-excited-parents’? We would soon (very soon) discover that a nationwide promotional campaign, including newspapers, radio, tv -you name it! – wasn’t enough to convince a reluctant crowd. Because, we never thought about the ‘too good to be true’ factor! And the only remedy to cure this symptom, was the old-fashioned ‘word of mouth’ (plus expansion of the age group from three-year olds to the 0 up to five-year olds) If it worked?

© 2020 Liliana Erasmus