The Frances and Henry Riecken Foundation, Inc.

We offer Central Americans hope and the opportunity to overcome poverty by promoting democracy and prosperity through community libraries that spark a spirit of discovery and foster citizen participation.

Role Models Inspire

Role Models Inspire
Girls need older role models for support, guidance, and as examples for developing and taking ownership of their personal set of values and building their identity. Since the culture of volunteerism is so strong in community libraries, they provide the perfect place for girls to find mentors, such as in the Chiché library. (view small | med | large | orig)

New Definitions

New Definitions
Riecken community libraries promote a methodology of research more akin to “exploration” so that girls investigating a homework assignment or a teen looking for information on a topic of personal interest are comfortable stepping from one type of material to another such as the Internet, reference books, and others, using a simplified version of the Dewey Decimal System. (view small | med | large | orig)

Fun Exchanging Ideas

Fun Exchanging Ideas
Whether participating in a Debate Team or digging into a novel in a Book Club, brainstorming on how to go about planning a community volunteer cleanup project, or planning to present research done for a school project, girls need safe spaces to express themselves freely and explore their ideas. Community libraries provide the environment for all of this to occur in rural Guatemala. (view small | med | large | orig)

Full of Wonder

Full of Wonder
Achieving literacy as an ending point is not our mission. Using reading as a vehicle for sparking a spirit of discovery for young people, so they are armed with important technical and social tools as well as a strong sense of creativity, curiosity, and innovation is our goal. (view small | med | large | orig)

Girls Reading After School

Girls Reading After School
Book Clubs play out in different forms. Most of the time, participants (ages 9 to 15) take home the same title, read a chapter, and return to the Library to discuss and explore their ideas through a guided discussion by a Library staff or volunteer. Sometimes participants read different titles and share with the group their interpretations. The ability to communicate one’s own original ideas with confidence challenges many teens in communities where we work, which is why we focus on it. (view small | med | large | orig)
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