LitWorld

LitWorld's mission is to cultivate literacy leaders worldwide through transformational literacy experiences that build connection, understanding, resilience and strength. We work with teachers, parents, community members, and children to support the development of literacy and the redemptive power of story in the world's most vulnerable communities. These are words changing worlds.
Sep 24, 2013

Tounen Istwa a! (Be the Story!)

Diving into a read aloud.
Diving into a read aloud.

It is with profound gratitude that we are sharing the growth of the LitClub program in Haiti. This summer we travelled to Port-au-Prince to conduct LitClub sessions and LitClub training sessions with the young women leaders of our partner organization, Foundation TOYA. These women lead our programs on the ground. We were greeted by 20 young women who were all confident and relaxed. They welcomed us with hugs and "bonjour!"

It is wonderful to see how much the LitWorld culture has passed on to these women as they have spent more and more time together. As we gathered for our community building portion of the day, they led us in song, singing "Hey There Ladies" and the "Hello Song" with beautiful harmonies and energy. The LitClub training was a great success. We ran a model LitClub session, and afterwards they asked insightful questions, from working with kids with low literacy to classroom management skills. 

Following our training we ran a LitClub session with approximately 35 students aged six to nine. Besides being unbelievably adorable, they were all incredibly well behaved, engaged, and ready to participate. We left them a copy of Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes because they didn't want to stop looking at the pictures. 

We also had a chance to run a LitClub session with a group of older girls. They are a deeply complex group, each one struggling with her own life challenges, past, present, future. They have grown so much since we last saw them in March. It was thrilling and moving to be with them again. The young women leaders did a read aloud of a Haitian Creole book about a grandfather and his relationship with his grandchildren, and we talked about kind things that people have done for us to express their love, or things that we would do for someone to express our love. Everyone gradually opened up, first to a partner, and then to the group, in beautiful, emotional ways. We made heart maps, and everyone thought deeply about what to put in them, and wanted them to look just so.

This work is urgently important. It is so important for women and girls to have LitClubs. It is so important for them to have each other. It is so important for them to have their mentors. It is so important for them to have us, and to have the structures of support we are working to create for them every day. Thank you for investing in the power of story and for making this work possible.

Documenting a story.
Documenting a story.
Exploring stories & learning LitWorld techniques.
Exploring stories & learning LitWorld techniques.
Building community.
Building community.
Building strong friendships in a safe space.
Building strong friendships in a safe space.
Jun 25, 2013

Stories Are Power

Singing Songs During a LitClub Leader Training
Singing Songs During a LitClub Leader Training

It is an honor to share news from our work on the ground with you, our generous and engaged community of supporters. Together we are on a journey that will launch 5 new Girls LitClubs: safe sanctuaries for girls to learn and to read and write, and to share their stories as a tool for becoming literate while building resilience. 

The LitClub model is designed to be nimble and flexible according to the girls’ needs and locations. Using a strength-based model of social emotional learning, our curriculum cultivates core strengths that inherently exist within each girl. The LitWorld 7 Strengths – Belonging, Curiosity, Kindness, Friendship, Confidence, Courage, and Hope – are ideas that are key to resilience-building.

As they journey through the LitClub curriculum, girls will see their stories as being impactful, as being helpful to them in learning to read and write, and as the most effective means of shaping and directing their future. The narrative framing strategies we use help girls set goals for their lives, dream big and contextualize their dreams into strategies to help them become economically independent, raise children who can read and write, and make choices for themselves that will improve their personal well-being.

We incorporate reading, writing, discussion, art, music, performance, and technology-based activities into our LitClubs to show girls how the arts, literacy, and technology are intimately connected. The new LitClubs that are launched through this Global Giving project will become part of a larger network of LitClubs that expands across 5 continents and 12 countries. Our global reach allows us to create authentic audiences for our girls, providing them with ample opportunities to share their writing and their stories. Exposure to stories of people they are reading about and learning about gives them a much wider sense of their own possibility for a college and career-ready future.

We are excited to announce that last month we celebrated the grand opening of our new space in Port-au-Prince, Haiti with our cherished local partner, Foundation TOYA. The young women LitClub Leaders that we have been training for the past several months will make this an inspirational gathering place for our newest Girls LitClubs. Thank you for your commitment to creating a safe and joyful world where childhood thrives, and where stories are valued as the most innovative tool we have to shape lives and give flight to dreams.

LitClub Girls Share Stories
LitClub Girls Share Stories
LitClub Girls Read Explore Books in Haitian Creole
LitClub Girls Read Explore Books in Haitian Creole

Links:

Mar 27, 2013

Thank You for Writing the LitWorld Story With Us!

Community Building Games with LitClub Leaders
Community Building Games with LitClub Leaders

We've reached our funding goal! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your contribution allowed us to launch Girls LitClubs around the world. LitClubs, our pioneering model for literacy development are portable, mobile and flexible, giving girls a way to tell their own stories, and use their stories to impact their communities and the world.

We have just returned from visiting our most recently launched LitClubs in Port-au-Prince, Haiti which run in partnership with two amazing, local, grassroots organizations, the TOYA Foundation, and the Children of Haiti Project.

Haiti is a country in transition, and the process of rebuilding infrastructure and livelihoods is happening before our eyes, a testament to the resilience of this nation. We spent our time visiting LitClubs in action at community centers and schools, and running refresher training sessions on the different aspects of the LitClubs, from singing, to affirmations, to community building, and reading aloud.

One of the highlights was surely a rousing round of Mingle Mingle, during which we got into some heated chants about all manner of topics. And our version of Bullfrog, which translates to Hatian Creole as Crapo, turned into a full-on dance party as we sang "Balanse a dwat a goch, dwat a goch, dwat a goch, balanse a dwat a goch, dwat a goch, ki sa?"

We visited a girls LitClub made up of teens who have just had a few years of school because of their very hard lives. It was, as with so many, a tough yet entirely tender group. We played a name game to get a bit silly first, and then used a similar prompt to earlier, asking the girls to draw their hearts and then draw or write inside one or two memories that they hold in their hearts. They shared moving stories of hardship and strength, of lives without the family support they deserve.

We had them present hopes (espwa) for their LitClub. They would like to become LitClub leaders in the future. This is how the LitClub model is self-sustaining, cultivating future leaders who will lead the global literacy movement in their own communities.

We love the Global Giving community immensely and we want to reach more children around the world and offer LitClubs to the communities that reach out to us every day because they are inspired by LitWorld’s unique approach to education and want to join this movement. Therefore we have launched a new project on Global Giving! Learn more here:
http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/launch-5-litworld-litclubs-around-the-world/

We foster resilience, hope and joy through the power of stories. You make all of these wonderful outcomes, solutions and dreams possible for the children we serve together and we cherish your contribution.

With heartfelt appreciation,

LitWorld

Teen LitClub Members and Future Leaders
Teen LitClub Members and Future Leaders
Reading Books in Haitian Creole
Reading Books in Haitian Creole
Our Partners Make This Work Possible
Our Partners Make This Work Possible

Links:

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