Aug 4, 2014

Planting the seeds of learning

Librarian Marilu and a beaming Bryan
Librarian Marilu and a beaming Bryan

Thanks to your generous support, the Limitless Horizons Ixil Community Library is at its best and biggest ever! Your contributions enable us to bring lots of stimulating educational resources to our 1,600+ library members! Today we’re excited to share a little about just one of our initiatives.

Every month, our library celebrates a different theme to keep members engaged with fun ideas and topics. Our librarians choose a selection of books related to the theme, and pick a group of gifted artists to decorate a special corner of the library devoted to the monthly theme. So far this year, we have celebrated back-to-school, friendship, religions, teachers, mothers, fathers, and women.  

This month, in the agricultural town of Chajul, we are celebrating gardening! Our library users are learning about planting seeds, putting down compost, the use of chemicals in fertilizer, and how we shouldn’t pick flowers from their natural habitats!

At the start of July, our librarians allowed the users to choose one book from the display, which was read at Story Hour. They then led an engaging discussion on gardening and farming.

For Mateo William Caba Chavez, gardening has been his favorite themes so far. William is 12 years old and comes to the library to learn and read books. His family have a garden at home and he likes to help out by working in it. The most interesting thing that he has learned from this month’s theme is how to plant seeds. We hope William’s seeds grow and he proves to have a green thumb!

Next month, the library members will explore flags from around the world as their theme. They will learn about the flag as a symbol for nations, regions, and religions, and will look at different colors and designs around the world.

Our special themes and the corner of the library devoted to them are one of the many ways we create a welcoming, engaging, and fun environment for our users. And they’re also a useful teaching tool as the library becomes a place for participatory learning! None of this could happen without you, thank you supporting us in planting the seeds of learning for the children of Chajul!

'Gardening Corner'
'Gardening Corner'
Our gifted artists!
Our gifted artists!
Making learning fun!
Making learning fun!
A bright display of books
A bright display of books
Our avid learners with Marilu
Our avid learners with Marilu

Links:

Jun 17, 2014

Outstanding academic results from our youth!

Rony, our prodigious scholar!
Rony, our prodigious scholar!

While it’s misty and dreary in Chajul, nothing can dampen our spirits! We are excited to share some good news with you. The first round of report cards for our middle school youth were delivered in May. We are delighted to report that our students have an average of 75%, grades considered quite high in Chajul!

Starting this year, all LHI middle schoolers are enrolled in our partner school, Colegio San Gaspar, which provides the best education in Chajul. The school’s director, Balthazar Raymundo, recently told us that the LHI scholars are leading in all their classes and making great progress! We are so pleased that our youth are setting a good example to their peers!

While we are proud of all our scholars, some deserve specific mention.

Rony just started his first year of middle school. Known around the LHI Community Center for his cheeky grin and somewhat mischievous nature, Rony has also attracted our attention because of his outstanding performance in class. Not only does he have the highest average among the first years with 77%, he also received a 92 in English. Congratulations to Rony!

Last year, Roselda received the highest grades among her entire cohort of LHI peers. This year, she continues to excel, earning the highest average of all our middle schoolers while also scoring a 95 in Spanish. Terrific!

As part of our efforts to motivate our youth to earn good grades and provide a correlation between fun and learning, LHI rewarded all students with an average over 75% with a field trip to a local waterfall. 13 students met the qualifications, and were rewarded with a wonderful day of hiking, swimming and – against all odds – sun!

Thanks to your generous support, Limitless Horizons Ixil scholars have the opportunity to excel academically. We look forward to keeping you updated on the incredible progress you are helping to effect in Chajul and in the lives of our ambitious scholars.

Tantiuxh, gracias, and thank you!

Alice Stevens on behalf of all the LHI scholars

P.S. Donate after noon (EDT) on June 25th and see your donation doubled!  Microsoft Youth Sparks Match Day is an amazing opportunity to meet our fundraising goal; we hope you come out in support!

We are delighted with Roselda's success.
We are delighted with Roselda's success.
En route to the waterfall
En route to the waterfall
We hiked the beautiful countryside of Chajul.
We hiked the beautiful countryside of Chajul.
The incredible Chichel waterfall
The incredible Chichel waterfall

Links:

May 6, 2014

We are extending our fundraising campaign!

Support Pedro Laynez and his peers!
Support Pedro Laynez and his peers!

Dear loyal GlobalGiving supporters,

If you’re on our main email list you may already know the news—we are reinvigorating our library fundraising campaign! Our new goal is to reach $20,000 in order to fund our growing library! We need your support more than ever to meet the needs of our 1,500 members and continue to provide services to benefit children like Pedro Laynez.  

Your previous support has enabled Limitless Horizons Ixil to grow our library and has provided wonderful opportunities for the youth of Chajul—and for that we are very thankful. You have been with us through library card parties, field trips, exciting new programs, the addition of new librarians, and remarkable growth (600 new members since the start of this campaign).

With this growth, we see tremendous opportunities for change as more and more youth in Chajul develop an understanding of the value of literacy and education.

Our expansion has allowed for new programs and the development of existing programs. One area which we expanded this year is our cultural story hour. Now, we invite a community elder into our beautiful space every month to tell a story, or speak about a specific issue or event. The themes are diverse, but they all tie into the history and culture of the Ixil region.

Cultural story hour is an important step that we can take to strengthen cultural pride and to preserve local knowledge. Please continue to support our efforts to build literacy and cultural knowledge in Chajul!  

This Wednesday May 7, your gift can go further with GlobalGiving’s match day! Starting at 9am EDT, a percentage of your donation will be matched by until matching funds run out. 

Warm regards,

Alice Stevens on behalf of the Limitless Horizons Ixil team

The following story was delivered by two community elders and tells a story of love and, in the tradition of creation mythology, how various animals came into being. The version here was translated from Ixil to Spanish to English and then shortened:

 Cultural Story Hour: The Story of Marquita and the Prince

 Marquita and the Prince were very much in love. But they were from different realms and her father refused to allow them to marry. The Prince transformed himself into a small bird so that he could be with Marquita. Marquita placed the small bird in a cage in her room and spoke to him every evening. Her suspicious father demanded to know who she was speaking to. He sent the flea to obtain a small amount of blood from whoever Marquita was speaking to. With their secret out, Marquita and the Prince fled. Her father sent a crow to kill the Prince but it killed Marquita instead.

The grieving Prince gathered her bones and placed them in a box. The box began to move and the Prince opened it. A deer, a rabbit, and a bee emerged. The bones of Marquita had transformed into animals that were beautiful and good.

Fun with reading and learning!
Fun with reading and learning!
Librarian Eduardo for preparing for story hour
Librarian Eduardo for preparing for story hour

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