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.
Jan 24, 2011

January LitWorld Update

We take pleasure in sharing LitWorld’s accomplishments in 2010 and plans for 2011:

The Resilience Project

The Resilience Project’s reading and writing workshops help youth who have experienced trauma, including surviving war and living as a refugee, to use writing as a tool for rebuilding strength. Currently, LitWorld leads The Resilience Project with refugee youth at The Children’s Village. In 2011, we seek to publish this groundbreaking curriculum and replicate the program in other areas where children are living in transition


Girls Clubs for Literacy

Girls Clubs are reading and writing workshops for young women and girls that support girls’ leadership and literacy learning, provide mentoring, and create opportunities for women and girls to read and write in ways that help them explore their sense of self. Girls Clubs position participants for future success and instill communities with literacy leaders to support girls’ future development. Sixteen Girls Clubs are running in the United States, Kenya, Liberia, Ghana and Iraq. In 2011 we aim to add at least five new sites worldwide.


Foundations for Literate Youth (FLY)

FLY is an innovative approach developed by the LitWorld team to help struggling readers make a leap to success. FLY is an indispensable tool for volunteers who would like to help children learn to read, but are not trained teachers. LitWorld currently uses FLY at The Children’s Village, and with the Harlem Children’s Zone. We plan to publish these resources so FLY can be easily shared with tutors and volunteers worldwide.

7 Strengths Books

LitWorld’s “7 Strengths” picture books are written and illustrated specifically for children who would not otherwise have access to children’s literature. The stories model LitWorld’s 7 Strengths: Belonging, Compassion, Esteem, Friendship, Confidence, Curiosity, and Hope. We are working with the Sponsor Iraqi Children Foundation to distribute the first book to 2,000 Iraqi orphans in 2011.

LitWorld Book & Supply Campaigns

LitWorld connects with publishers to send books to our target sites around the world. We have partnered with Scholastic, We Give Books from the Pearson Foundation, the International Book Bank, and Booksource to send thousands of books to communities in the United States, Ghana, Haiti, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Tanzania. We also partnered with the Sponsor Iraqi Children Foundation and Another Joy Foundation to deliver school supplies to children in Iraq. In 2011, we aim to deliver over 8,000 books to our partner sites.

Humanitarian Literacy Strategy

LitWorld believes that joyful literacy learning can take place even in the most challenging conditions with minimal materials and resources, so long as the teacher in the room is confident and compelling. We create training sessions and workshops for local leaders to become ambassadors for sustainable literacy. So far, we have trained over 1,000 teachers, and reached over 10,000 children. In 2011 we will continue institutes in Kenya and Liberia, with a goal of reaching over 1,000 new teachers.  

Family Story Power Project

This program brings together families, many with adult members who struggle with literacy, to read stories and share their own in a safe environment. We introduce families in vulnerable areas to seminal children’s books and foster dialogue through the books, highlighting universal themes that bring us together.


World Read Aloud Day

We spread the powerful message that Words Change Worlds through World Read Aloud Day, which was first observed on March 3, 2010. Through partnerships with organizations including Global Action for Children and the Global Campaign for Education, WRAD’s impact was felt in 35 countries and reached over 40,000 people. On March 9, 2011, we will hold the second annual World Read Aloud Day.


Dec 15, 2010

Girls Club Kibera is on a roll!

The Girls Clubs of Kibera have been on a roll all year, participating in numerous uplifting projects thanks to the leadership of Joscelyn O. Truitt and Jeff Okoth. The photo above shows the girls with a remarkable quilt made especially for them by the Children of Kibera intern, Jackie Espana, after the girls participated in knitting lessons. The fabric in the quilt are made from their first pieces, a reminder of all their time spent together during lessons!

Aside from their quilting project, the girls in Kibera have also been discussing peaceful tactics for conflict resolution, and dialoguing about peer pressure and self-respect. Talks on health and hygiene have also been important topics, resulting in their story project, Nesla's Dilemma

Nesla’s Dilemma is a combination of stories written by Red Rose Girls Club members. After a series of talks and lessons on hygiene and the female menstrual cycle, the group decided to write about our periods. Some girls decided to write a fictional story and others recorded their thoughts on the issue.

Using bits of each girls stories or reflections, their facilitators combined them all into one story. Nesla is a poor girl who lives in rural Kenya. One day, she suddenly gets her period and is unsure of what to do. But, after an enlightening talk with her mother, she learns that she is experiencing a normal change. However, Nesla’s family is too poor to afford buying sanitary pads.

Her mother finds a Girls Club for Nesla to attend and it is there that she receives sanitary pads. The pads allow her to be in school every day so is able to finish and excel in her education. This story reflects how the Girls Club affects its members, as many girls are not able to afford pads nor are they comfortable talking about their periods with a mom or aunt. This story is informational, as well, and the Red Rose girls hope to use their stories to inform other girls about menstruation and how to handle it.

Dec 13, 2010

Introducing the Erbil, Iraq Girls Club!

Girls Clubs in Iraq have officially launched in Erbil,with 13 young women in participation! When the girls were asked what to expect from the program, they replied that they expected Girls Club to “empower our personality in the right way, have an opportunity to know more about others”. One of the other participants also offered, “I have goal to  achieve, and I hope this program will help me get on the right steps toward this goal”.

When we asked the girls about their goals , their replies were as follows:
- To be a journalist not only on Iraq level, but on the world level, in order to let the world hear an Iraqi woman’s voice.
-To be a police officer, in order to enforce and apply the  law.
-To  explore the world by traveling and learning the people’s customs and traditions.
-To be an Arabic teacher in order to help other Kurdish people to know the language of their partners( Arab people) in Iraq.

The girls felt so empowered, they elected club officers to create a more formal organization of the club and spread its mission even further to other young women. They’ve even officially named the club as the Venus Girls Club in Erbil.

The girls exchanged their stories, and were so pleased to have the right of speech and to have the freedom to express their ideas. Our second meeting is set for the earlier part of 2011. More to come soon!

As reported by Girls Club Erbil Leader, Saadia Hassoon

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