Dictionaries donated to the Philippines

Dear Dictionary Project,

My name is Katherine Yvanovich and I am a Peace Corps Volunteer serving in the Philippines. I work at San Miguel Central Elementary School on the island province of Catanduanes. SMCES is located in the beautiful hills on the island of Catanduanes.

San Miguel is a remote village only accessible by a bumpy dirt road. It is a quiet, peaceful town where the pace of life is slow. Bato river winds its way through the town. Caribou graze in the water logged rice patties. Huts made of bamboo line the rivers edge. People here live a simple but happy life. My hope is that by giving our students a library, they might be able to achieve their dreams. Inspiring them to read will lead them into the lives they dream of. It is a small wish for a small community but I know it will impact them in a big way.

This past year a group of sixth grade students, my husband and myself created a map of the world. Our map measures 6 feet by 12 feet and will be placed in our new library. The map that we have created is the only map in the school. The students worked for a full week, skipping recess and free periods to persevere with their goal. The end result was beautiful and was a great learning experience for all our students. Learning how to use a ruler, measure, and to draw to scale were all skills they never knew before. After the map was finished, students learned where the Philippines was located in relation to America. They said, with shocked expressions on their faces, "malayo!" (far!).?

I wanted to write to extend my community’s and my thanks for your support of our project. We are so excited to be receiving 24 atlases and 96 dictionaries. Your donation of 96 dictionaries was one of the most generous donations we received. For a school that does not have any dictionaries, receiving 96 was met with jumps for joy! Thank you so much for you generosity. We have just received our grant money and will begin construction on our new library in two weeks. We have received over 5,000 book donations from elementary student’s in America. Here is a link to an article that was written about the donations.


We have organized a Student Book Club in SMCES to help with the organization of these books. We hope to have our library open by December. We will be sure to keep you updated and send more pictures as our project progresses. I have enclosed pictures of students participating in the world map project as well as pictures of the student book club.

Thank you again for all your generosity.

Katie Yvanovich
US Peace Corps Volunteer
Philippines ’05-’07