Limitless Horizons Ixil

Limitless Horizons Ixil's mission is to create opportunities for the indigenous youth, women, and families of Chajul, Guatemala, to develop the academic and professional skills needed to effect change in their lives and community.
Apr 11, 2016

Welcoming New Faces at the Saber Sin Limites (Limitless Knowledge) Community Library

Marina leading story hour
Marina leading story hour

This update we’d like to share about our library team, which has been able to grow and develop in recent months thanks to your generous contributions and support. At Limitless Horizons Ixil, having a great team and investing in our staff and interns’ professional growth and development is an important part of our work—not only building our ability to serve the community through meaningful library services, but also developing our team’s own capacity and skills as young professionals as they grow into Chajul’s next generation of leaders and professionals. Your support for our community library helps not only the young library members who visit on a daily basis, but also our library team’s professional development, and we’re very grateful for your important contributions to our work.

We recently welcomed Marina, a former Limitless Horizons Ixil scholar, to the library team. She spent her first few weeks learning about the library and how it functions, with the guidance of our head librarian David. As we have implemented new services such as tutoring hours, Marina has played a vital role in the library’s success. Every Tuesday we host tutoring for English, Wednesday is for math, and Thursday is for science. Marina is focused and attentive, which has helped the library better support its members. David noted that “the experience she gained in prior jobs helps her to relate well to library members and employees.” Marina enjoys her new position and shared that “I believe this job is important because we’re helping children learn how to read, and really making an impact”.

We also welcomed a new librarian intern, Elisa, through our Internship and Training Initiative. She is responsible and confident in all her work. To support the library’s overall goal of better organization, Elisa is working diligently to reorganize our many books. She is working with our other intern, Rosa, throughout the week to support the librarians and daily operations, all the while gaining skills and experience that will be crucial for her own future professional success. David shared that “Marina and Elisa have been quickly accepted into the library community and have gained the children’s trust.”

These new faces are contributing immensely to the community library’s overall goals of promoting learning and literacy within the community. Each team member brings something special to the library dynamic—David with his willingness to help and always with a bright smile on his face; Marina with her observant manner and patience; Rosa with her creativity and determination to see her work all the way through; and Elisa with her confidence and well-collected demeanor. The library team supports one another and they are working together to improve the services that Limitless Horizons Ixil offers to library members. Their energy and passion is reflected in the work they do every day for the library and community of Chajul. We are so excited to have them as such a fantastic part of the team!

And we are so grateful to you for your ongoing support that makes it possible for Limitless Horizons Ixil to hire, train, and support such a dynamic group of Chajul’s young leaders and enable them to give back to their community through the library. We couldn’t do it without you.

Elisa assisting with an art activity
Elisa assisting with an art activity
David taking a new member
David taking a new member's photo for his card
Rosa reading a story to library members
Rosa reading a story to library members
Marina helping a library member complete homework
Marina helping a library member complete homework
Mar 11, 2016

Improving and expanding our tutoring support for youth!

Antonio leading English tutoring hours
Antonio leading English tutoring hours

A new school year has recently started in Chajul and our scholars are busy studying, thanks to your support of our work! To support our scholars with their academic needs, Limitless Horizons Ixil offers tutoring classes every Saturday. In prior years, we had one tutor who taught about several of the subjects. The tutor led a lecture-style enrichment class using her own curriculum and mostly focused on reading comprehension in Spanish. Student evaluations conducted at the end of last year taught us that our scholars could benefit even more from tutoring that’s more specifically related to what they are learning in school. Our youth also expressed a desire for more lively interaction with additional time for questions. Specifically, our scholars wanted more support with their Spanish language grammar and writing skills, math in general, and their English classes.

Based on this thoughtful and helpful feedback from our scholars, the Limitless Horizons Ixil team decided to create an alternating schedule throughout the month with each Saturday’s tutoring session focusing on one of these subjects. We have a specific tutor for each subject and we are working closely with the teachers of our partner middle school Colegio San Gaspar to ensure that we are supporting our scholars with the specifics of what they are learning in each subject. The last Saturday of every month is for general academic support and homework help and our Program Manager Edilma, who is trained as a teacher, supports with this session.

In addition, inspired by the popularity and success of the tutoring classes we offer our Youth Development Program scholars, we decided to implement tutoring hours at our Saber Sin Límites (Limitless Knowledge) community library to support all students visiting the library with weekly homework help. Our librarian David helps with physics and chemistry one day each week, and our Saturday math tutor, Santos, supports with math tutoring hours on another day. There’s also English homework help led by Antonio, one of our Youth Development Program graduates and current Operations Intern. We’re thrilled to be able to offer these tutoring hours to everyone in the community!

All of these new tutoring opportunities began in February and we are excited to see the impact they have on students over the course of this year! Thank you for your incredible support of Limitless Horizons Ixil’s work and for helping us to continue improving programs for our youth.

Our scholars during math tutoring
Our scholars during math tutoring
Math tutor Santos explaining a math problem
Math tutor Santos explaining a math problem
Two of our scholars working on homework
Two of our scholars working on homework
A scholar reviewing her notes
A scholar reviewing her notes
Jan 12, 2016

Saber Sin Limites (Limitless Knowledge) Community Library 2015 Highlights

One of our members during Reading Adventures
One of our members during Reading Adventures

2015 was a fantastic year for our Saber Sin Límites library, thanks in great part to your support! We are busy throughout the year with various activities for the Chajul community and want to use this opportunity to share with you highlights and stats from the past year. In total, the library now has 1,893 users with 467 newly registered in 2015 and is currently home to 4,057 different book titles, 773 which are new this year! The library received about 100 visits per month, most commonly for academic support, reading club, story hour, and art. Here are some highlights about a range of facets in our library programming!

New Lending Services: As we reported earlier in 2015, we decided to initiate a lending program this year, currently open to participants in our Youth Development Program. We had 31 registered members taking advantage of the program this past year, and we hope to expand the lending program to the entire community in the near future.

Reading Adventures Vacation Programming: The Guatemalan school year ends in October, so we recently hosted our annual vacation programming with engaging daily activities, including story hours, book-creation activities, dance classes, and recorder lasses. The library members enjoyed themselves and were excited to learn new things in a fun, engaging environment. Librarians, interns, and library members hosted a concluding celebration and invited Chajul community members to see performances and participate in games.

Fiestas de Carnets (Library Card Celebrations): We held two of these events in 2015 to promote a special we offered for library cards—2 for the price of 1 (at approximately $1 a card, the nominal fee charged that encourages responsibility and buy-in). The celebrations included almost 100 people, with activities including face painting, musical chairs, create-a-book, LEGO building, jump roping, hopscotch, and Frisbee.

Cultural Story Hours: We held a total of 22 cultural story hours in 2015, held in two sessions on one day a month. For these events, an elder of the community comes to share a story from the Ixil culture as a way for children and teens to learn the history of their community thus helping to preserve Ixil culture.

Story Hours: This year we hosted 76 story hours (twice a day on Wednesdays) with each including an activity such as art, games, or skits with the goal of strengthening children’s imaginations and helping them expand their vocabularies! A total of 1,556 people attended story hours in 2015, mostly younger children between the ages of 5 and 12.

Reading Clubs: We hosted 98 hours of reading club with a total of 840 participants in 2015! The youth have been working on improving their reading comprehension, writing, and reading abilities.

Without supporters like you, our work and successes would not be possible. Thank you for your continued support. As 2016 begins, we hope to expand our programs and continue to implement new activities. We send you gratitude and warm wishes from Chajul!

Two members reading at the library
Two members reading at the library
Our librarian David leading story hour
Our librarian David leading story hour
One of our younger members reading a book
One of our younger members reading a book
Members waiting for an activity to start
Members waiting for an activity to start
 

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