Reading Village

Reading Village empowers youth to eradicate illiteracy and lead their communities out of poverty.
Aug 29, 2014

Back to School

Back to School
Back to School
     That's right, it's that bitter sweet end of summer season here in the United States when we're buying books and filling backpacks and sending children back to school. It's a season of new beginnings, of growth, of potential.
     Meanwhile, in Guatemala, we're deep into that growth with our group of 40 scholars across 4 communities. Every year, the pinnacle of growth is achieved at our annual retreat. All of our scholars come together to spend a weekend building relationships, being inspired, and deepening their understanding of the responsibility they have to change the world around them. This year's retreat was a huge success. Games were played, speakers enjoyed, and lessons learned. As the weekend wrapped up, Santiago - a third-year scholar from the rural farming community of Los Morales - said, "Before participating in the Reading Village program I used to be different, I've changed in a very positive way. It has improved my vocabulary, my participation with peers, my public speaking. This program has changed my life." 
     That is, of course, exactly what education does - it changes lives. Education unlocks possibilities, builds skills, increases incomes, and alleviates poverty. This retreat was a chance to watch that unfold, it was a chance for our teens to set down their books and process the magnitude of the work they are doing to transform lives in rural Guatemala.
While our scholars are working away in Guatemala, here's what we've been up to during this busy back to school season:
  • Mark Your Calendars: From September 3rd-10th, all recurring donations give on Global Giving will be matched 100%. We're looking for five donors to pledge $25 per month, will you be one of them? Make a monthly gift right now.
  • We Need Your Vote:  We're proud to announce that two of our photos have been selected as finalists in the annual Global Giving photo contest. The photo with the most votes will win $1000 - that's enough to send a teen to high school for two years! We'd be so grateful if you'd head over and vote for the Reading Village images. Vote for #1 and vote for #2.
  • Announcing Our Partnership with Amazon Smile: We're excited to announce that Amazon has agreed to donate 0.5% of every eligible purchase to Reading Vilage. It's easy, just head over to Amazon Smile and search for Reading Village. After you select our organization all you have to do is start shopping and when you check out you'll be making a donation at no additional cost. Happy Back to School Shopping!
From everyone at Reading Village - we're wishing you a wonderful back to school season! Thank you for helping us change lives.

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Jun 4, 2014

Mark Your Calendars

Don
Don't Let Him Be A Statistic

In the communities where we work only one in ten children reaches high school. It’s more common for a child like Victor to be malnourished, to be married before the age of eighteen, or to be the victim of domestic violence than it is for him/her to graduate from high school.

With your help we will change that number. Reading Village scholars are reaching Victor and his peers - kids whose parents are illiterate and who don’t have access to books at home - with literacy development activities. They’re building creative and critical thinking skills and Spanish-language fluency so that these kids have the skills they need to finish their educations. Meanwhile, our scholars are graduating from high school unlike so many of their classmates. They are earning higher incomes from their professional jobs, and leading their communities in grassroots development projects like opening public libraries where Victor and his friends learn to read. Together, one generation of leaders is creating another generation of readers.

It’s simple: the cycle of poverty is broken when youth have access to education. Don’t let Victor be a statistic.

Mark your calendars for the Global Giving match day on June 25th. All donations made promptly at 9am (pacific standard time) will be matched 100%. This means that you can double your donation to end illiteracy for one hour only. Don’t miss our matching moment!

Thank you for your partnership in this work. 

Links:

Mar 19, 2014

A Season of Growth

Spring has sprung. And so has Reading Village! Since our meager beginning with just 6 promoters in 2009, you have helped us reach 75 scholars and more than 10,000 young children. Last year alone two groups of our scholars opened the very first public libraries in their rural Guatemalan villages, and your investments brought innovative literacy activities to 3,000 young children. This is the foundation from which we launched into our fourth community in 2014 and the foundation from which we will continue to grow and deepen our impact in the coming months.

One of the most exciting aspects of our growth is a pilot partnership with Austurias Academy in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Two of our graduates are participating as teaching fellows at this innovative school. They are attending university, learning -- on the job -- the teaching methodology of the school as well as how the school runs. The idea being that at the end of three years they will be able to return to their community and open a school, bringing to their village high quality education that values and empowers young Mayans. 

Next week I'm headed down to Guatemala with staff, board members, and Reading Village supporters to catch up with our scholars past and present. During the Learning Journey we'll be sure to send tons of fresh stories and photos your way. Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to catch all the action.

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