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.
Aug 16, 2013

Project Fully Funded!

From books to Wikipedia
From books to Wikipedia

Thanks to your generosity this project is now fully funded and we have lots of girls in Guatemala with their heads buried in books as a result.  The obvious next step in this process involves technology thus we have just opened a project to enhance technology in our libraries with a special focus on girls and women.  

It is our hope that you will continue your generosity towards the girls in one very deserving community who are waiting in line to use a couple of old beat up computers that cannot even run a video.  Our hope is to give them a decent internet connection along with updated hardware and software.  We will also work with the community on a sustainability plan so that they are not forever dependent on donor generosity to replace their technology equipment.  Have a look at project #14768 and help us to get the community of Xolsacmlaja, Totonicapan, Guatemala on the map.  And we mean that literally.  Maybe the girls will find a way to get recognized by Google Maps along the way.

Thank you for everything you do.

Best wishes, Joan Fuetsch

Member. Board of Directors

Aug 14, 2013

Consultant Gives Excellent Rating to Program

Yaelle Stempfelet evaluating pilot program
Yaelle Stempfelet evaluating pilot program

In July of 2013 Yaelle Stempfelet who is working on a Master's degree in International Education at the University of Massachusetts with a specialty in early childhood development was retained to evaluate our existing pilot project.  Yaelle, who is tri-lingual (English, French and Spanish) spent five years as the director of a bi-lingual Montesorri pre-school in Antigua, Guatemala.  As research for her Master's thesis Yaelle visited the pilot project in Quiche on a regular basis and evaluated the curriculum and also interviewed the mothers to gain feedback on the existing program.  

Yaelle, who expected to have to develop the curriculum, was pleasantly surprised at the high quality of the work that Alba has done.  In interviewing the mothers the recurring theme was "more, more, more."  Some of the moms also had good suggestions for additions to the program and most emphasized the importance of the nutritional information.  It was clear that the moms were very hungry for information on how to improve the lives and opportunities for their children.

With your help we will be able to add to Alba's program and expand it to four other libraries in our network.  

Roberto
Roberto's mom has been coming since he was 3 mos.
This is our goal!
This is our goal!
May 28, 2013

Big Push for Early Childhood Development

Mom helping her kids to get started.
Mom helping her kids to get started.

In just a few weeks a young woman who is pursuing her Master's degree at the University of Massachusetts in international education with a focus on early childhood development will be headed to Guatemala where she is going to evaluate our existing program and do a proposal for expanding the program through the Riecken network of 64 libraries.  Mothers are going to be interviewed and children tested in several communities to determine the effectiveness of the existing program and to help design an ongoing program.  We already know that the mothers are eager to have nutritional information.  Like mothers everywhere they would like to do what is best for their children but often do not have the necessary information. Often the mothers are illiterate which severely limits their access to nutritional information. We are very hopeful that you will continue to contribute to this very worthy project so that soon we might have thousands of children enrolled.

Handling shapes facilitates letter recognition
Handling shapes facilitates letter recognition

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