The story of how the Barangay Pepita People's Learning Center came to be begins decades ago when Cora Noyes was a child in the Phillipines reading the discarded newspapers used to wrap food. Reading material was scarce and many children hungry like her for knowledge ran into dead ends or sought it elsewhere. Cora went on to college at Tacloban University and vowed to give back to her community. Eventually she married David Noyes and he brought her to the United States where she worked for Starkey Laboratories in Minnesota. Together David and Cora, raised a son and a daughter. Today the Noyes family coordinates with local community leaders and volunteers in the small towns in the Philippines. The "barangays" have few educational resources and the learning centers provide resources not only for children learning to read but poor college students and regular citizens looking for entertainment or to improve a skill.
The Barangay Pepita People's Learning Center was the first of a proposed line of centers. Built in June of 2007 and stocked with thousands of books donated by bookstores and libraries. Normally, these books would have been discarded to the landfills. Since then, thousands of books have been salvaged and are being sent to the Philippines. Books are rare and expensive in the Philippines where many of the people are trilingual, speaking common Tagalog, their local dialects of Tagalog, and English. Books in the learning centers not only benefit local school children but aspiring college students and the elderly.
You can see the locations of the Pepita People's Learning Centers here.