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 15, 2012

Good News! The Books are Wearing Out.

New books, Science, Debate, Links and more
New books, Science, Debate, Links and more

Today we had a group of visitors cross Lake Atitlan in Guatemala by boat to visit our San Juan La Laguna Library. This library recently requested new books as so many of their books were very, very worn.  This library has a very high percentage of girl readers.  Funds were raised from the Rotary Club of Reno and by the library itself by showing movies in the evening and asking attendees to pay for popcorn to buy new books for everyone including the girls.  

Your donations also go towards buying new books particularly oriented towards young girl readers. Community volunteers engage the girls with story hours then help the girls read until they are reading on their own.  As you might guess reading is power in a country where women and girls have been disenfranchised for decades.  Included with the report are a couple of photos of the recent arrival of new books at this library.  You might want to also listen to the interview done in 2007 with Allen Andersson, who with his wife Susan Riecken, founded the Riecken Community Library network.   Muchas gracias (Thank you) for your help.  

Girls listening to story hour.
Girls listening to story hour.

Links:

May 29, 2012

Reno Rotary Club Visits Pilot Project

Reno (NV) Rotarians with Alba Estrada
Reno (NV) Rotarians with Alba Estrada

During the month of April several Rotarians from the Reno Rotary Club visited our pilot early childhood development project in Quiche, Guatemala.  They also delivered a number of supplies for the program.  The small library was crammed with mothers and children.  Personnel from the local health center came to do a presentation on vegetables to the mothers while Alba Estrada, the director, read a story to the children involving vegetables.  Several children dressed as vegetables did a presentation for all present.  Alba asked the mothers to discuss what the program meant to them and one mother spoke very passionately about the difference in her daughter since they have been attending the early childhood development program.  She indicated that her daughter talked more and asked more questions and that she felt that she was a much better mother because of the things she had learned.  

While we have recently received a grant (see link below) from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to strengthen our network of libraries we need your help to continue and expand this program to our other libraries.  No donation is too small to be appreciated.  A few dollars is very useful in Central America.  Muchas gracias.  

Learning about vegetables from a story book
Learning about vegetables from a story book
Presenting vegetable benefits to the moms
Presenting vegetable benefits to the moms
Practicing new skills
Practicing new skills

Links:

May 29, 2012

So Close to Our Goal - only $2,318 More!

Girls Attending a Book Fair in Patzun, Guatemala
Girls Attending a Book Fair in Patzun, Guatemala

We have raised $15,682 thus far with only $2,318 more needed in order to get more books into the hands of young Guatemalan girls.  Not only do they need books but, believe it or not, they someone to help them appreciate stories and all the information that books can offer.  Traditionally, in Guatemala, books mean studying rather than pleasure. With the story hours and book clubs that we offer young girls learn to enjoy books.  Quite obviously once they learn to enjoy books we are challenged to provide new books in order to satisfy their new found interest.  Recently we visited a town where the librarian had organized a school day totally focused on books with games and contests.  It was very rewarding to watch so many girls be so interested in the books.  Recently, we received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (see link below) to strengthen our network of libraries but we still need your help to fund special projects such as promoting reading to girls.  No donation is too small.  Muchas gracias.   

Links:

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