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.
Jul 5, 2016

Riecken Libraries and the Spirit of Discovery

Children at library
Children at library

For rural communities in Central America, opportunities to change the life one is born into are hard to find. But for those who learn to read and enjoy a love of books. something powerful can happen, that takes them places never dreamed of.

This "Spirit of Discovery" encourages individuals to try new things, start new projects, discuss new topics, participate in a social life beyond their four walls. The reading programs of Riecken Community libraries create and strengthen the habit and joy of reading that can help unlock all of this human potential. 

Riecken Libraries promote reading in children and adults by making it fun and accessible. Librarians, volunteers, and parents are trained on how to read aloud and story time techniques. This training and the practice of reading aloud helps children develop a positive relationship with reading from an early age.

Each Riecken Community Library:

* Provides opportunities for its visitors to connect with others in their community and the world, with books, stories, and programs relevant to each community

* Supports early childhood development and literacy, honoring cultural traditions and language

* Provides resources for families and the community to discover the world "beyond four walls" of the library

Libraries empower girls using technology
Libraries empower girls using technology

Links:

May 31, 2016

A new opportunity for women in Guatemala

Women from San Juan Chamelco (Alta Verapaz)
Women from San Juan Chamelco (Alta Verapaz)

In 2015 were four Centers for Human Development and Management implemented business community libraries: Kak Nojibal (Xolsacmaljá),  Source of Wisdom (San Carlos Sija), Open Windows to the Future (Chiché) y  Rija Tzuul Na Ooj  (San Juan la Laguna) where more than 150 women leaders were reached at community level. In December 2015 an analysis from the Index capacities of community libraries to display the fifth center was made, the process was developed with the group of woodcock and program officers of the Foundation, taking into account elements displayed a potential library were: Board of directors organized, ongoing projects, relationship with the municipal government and accountability in delivery of reports. As a result of evaluating two libraries they were pre-selected. In January 2016 a diagnostic visit was conducted to verify the selected criteria being the library strengthened the Gabriela Mistral Located in San Juan Chamelco the department of Alta Verapáz Cobán. From February 2016 the negotiations for the opening of the new center began. 

The project was carried out in the community with the participation of two women leaders representing two organizations swarm more than 500 women from different communities, 1 leading representative of the women's office of the local municipality, 2 women leaders representing the community library, and 1 representative educational sector and other members of the library board affirmed the need to implement actions that favor women

Municipal Corporation supports the implementation offering internet access, and accommodation of a space within the library also pledged to provide support for activities carried out in favor of women of different communities.

Group of Women in San Carlos Sija (Quetzaltenango)
Group of Women in San Carlos Sija (Quetzaltenango)
Women in action (Xolsacmalja, Totonicapan)
Women in action (Xolsacmalja, Totonicapan)

Links:

Apr 11, 2016

Child nutrition is an affair of all

Mothers of Chiche (Guatemala) in an activity
Mothers of Chiche (Guatemala) in an activity

The Riecken Foundation believes that reading to children from an early age (0-5 years), stimulates the mind, develops language, and builds a base to ensure the success of reading in the future. The parents are childrens’ first teachers; so they need to be provided with tools and activities they can do with their families to promote reading at an early age and develop a reading habit that will continue throughout life.  Riecken’s programs are aimed develop language skills, vocabulary, pre-reading, as well as creating positive experiences with books. Parents also learn techniques and that they practice with their children.  Essentially, the community libraries promote six pre-reading skills that mother, father and baby can develop from birth:

  • Motivation to Books: sparking the interest in children to enjoy books, with the purpose of promoting an approach to them.
  • Vocabulary: in the first week of life, the baby can vocalize at the same time that mother does.
  • Becoming familiar with the writing: engage the children with reading, use exercises that show drawings, shapes, people, and animals, not only with figures but with written words.
  • Knowledge of sounds: help children acquire the ability to hear and play with sounds.
  • Narrative skills: librarians can relate stories and tales to children and help develop the skills in reading readiness.
  • Letter knowledge: the children begin to learn their first letters.

Volunteers and librarian of Riecken community library “Ventanas abiertas al futuro”, in Chiché Guatemala, are implementing this program with a nutritional focus, which offers a lot of activities to help mothers to develop their abilities in child nutrition.

In this month, 50 women are trained about the importance of good habits in nutrition and their roles in the children nutrition. Also, the library organized a conference “I’m a women and I’m important for my community” for celebrating the International Women Day.

A mother of Chiche stimulates to her child
A mother of Chiche stimulates to her child

Links:

 

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