Fifteen years ago, in the agricultural town of Concepción, Don Martín's eldest son Rufino asked permission to enroll in high school. Having only an elementary school education himself, Don Martín considered students to be lazy good-for-nothings who were only looking to escape hard physical labor in the fields. And no one in Concepción at that time even had a high school diploma. But he begrudgingly allowed Rufino to continue his studies on the condition that he keep up his obligations at home.
So every day Rufino got up before the sun to work the land with his father until noon, grabbed a couple of tortillas for lunch and then walked an hour to school. After school he walked an hour home, did his chores, ate a bit of supper and at ten o'clock finally had some time for his homework. He did this day in and day out, and his friends thought him crazy. But it paid off for him as he is now a professional manager working for an international microcredit organization, and here's the really good part...
Don Martín -- the one who thought students were lazy good-for-nothings -- now willingly sends his daughter, yes his daughter, to high school. Her name is Marcela and she's also one of our star reading promoters.
Because of Don Martín's ability to change, Marcela has the opportunity to fulfill her potential. She is growing into a capable community leader, and she is bringing books and a love of reading to the children in her community, giving them the opportunity to fulfill their potential. One day she will do the same for her children.
I've always believed it takes just one person to make a difference. Don Martín has proved it's true.
Join Don Martín in making a difference. Honor a dad for Father's Day with a gift to Reading Village.
If you make your donation on Wednesday, June 16, GlobalGiving will match it 50%.
In 1985 a US Department of Education Commission on Reading shared the
results of 10,000 research projects done over 25 years to get at the core of
what really works in terms of turning kids into skilled readers. Among its
primary findings was this:
"The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for
eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children."
Notice they didn't single out Baby Einstein or flash cards, phonics, homework
or worksheets. They discovered that reading aloud to children, both at home
and at school -- even after they can read for themselves -- was the
greatest predictor of success.
I am encouraged by this finding because reading aloud to children is the
core of our work in Guatemala. Kids love to be read to, and the more they
associate reading with fun, the more they read. The more they read, the
better they get at it. The better they get at it the more they like it...This is
our engine for developing a culture of reading in Guatemala.
So please (1) read to the children in your life and (2) continue supporting us
as we encourage the same in impoverished communities where books are
scarce and illiteracy is rampant.
Thank you for all you do to bring the joy of reading to children!
Reading Village has nearly double the number of teen reading promoters this year as we had last year.
Visit our website for a brief photo update:
Thank you for all you do to make their dreams come true,