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.
Feb 23, 2012

These Kids Need Books on Wheels

Riecken volunteer reads to kindergarten students
Riecken volunteer reads to kindergarten students

As we have a ways to go on funding this project books are still being delivered by horseback and four-wheel drive to our more remote locations in Honduras.  There has been a lot of bad news out of Honduras lately.  Some have called it the most dangerous country on the planet, perhaps a failed state.  All the better reason to increase efforts to give some hope to the many wonderful people who just happen to live there.  The kids pictured below are in kindergarten in the Chorti village of San Rafael.  Their books come from the Riecken library in Copan Ruinas.  Riecken volunteers do story hours for the children.  They talk about the stories and have the children do drawings about the stories and color them. With a fully stocked bibliobus we could take many more books to the children in this community.  We could offer them hope for a brighter future.  

Like children everywhere they love a story
Like children everywhere they love a story
Children are encouraged to illustrate the story
Children are encouraged to illustrate the story
Fierce concentration!
Fierce concentration!

Links:

Feb 21, 2012

Second grader reading above US grade level

Fatima
Fatima's hometown in Guatemala

Fatima lives in San Juan La Laguna, Solola, Guatemala on the shores of beautiful Lake Atitlan.  In her home she speaks the Mayan language Tzu'tzu'jil; in school she speaks Spanish.  Fatima is in the second grade yet, thanks to the Girl Reader program in the village library she is reading well above grade level according to US standards.  And a few questions will confirm that Fatima is also understanding what she reads.  When asked why learning to read was so important one of the reasons given by a group of girls in the library was so that they could help their parents who were unable to read.  They also cited the fact that, if they knew how to read, that they could learn anything that they wanted to.  Learning to read and being encouraged to stay in school is just one step towards empowering young girls in Mayan communities.  With your continued help we can strengthen this program and expand it to more of the libraries in our network. With your ongoing support we can develop books clubs exclusively for girls which will not only sharpen their reading skills but also self-confidence and creative thinking.

Fatima, age 7, second grade
Fatima, age 7, second grade
Fatima, reading like a US fourth grader
Fatima, reading like a US fourth grader

Links:

Nov 30, 2011

Meet Francis, one of our readers.

Francis, one of our young readers, doing homework
Francis, one of our young readers, doing homework

Francis Jaqueline Martinez lives in a remote Chorti village which is a 20-minute ride by four-wheeled drive vehicle from Copán Ruinas, Honduras. When photographed Francis was finishing up her 7th grade science homework next to the family's adobe kitchen.  A generation ago Francis would not have been in school, rather she would have been collecting firewood and hauling water with her mother. Francis's father is the leader of this community of about 250 and very appreciative of the tiny "bibliomovile" provided by the Riecken Library in Copán Ruinas, called by another resident, "the soul of our community."

We would like to see more books in the little library in Francis' village of San Rafael and we like to have the resources to encourage her to make the trek down the hill to continue her education and utilize the resources of the much bigger library in Copán Ruinas.

With your help Francis can become a community leader like her father and she too will see that her children are educated as well.  You can also help to ensure that the younger members of Francis's community will also turn into readers.  Riecken is currently providing story hours in the village kindergarten.


The "soul" of Francis
The "soul" of Francis's village.
Another new reader in kindergarten
Another new reader in kindergarten

Links:

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