Nov 15, 2018

Reading Club: Building Friendships and Literacy

The Saber Sin Límites Community library offers a variety of engaging activities that promote foundational literacy skills, enhance language development, and cultivate a culture of reading among youth in Chajul. One of the most popular activities is our reading club, which gives library members a chance to share their love of reading with their peers while also strengthening their independent reading skills.

Twice a week, eager reading club members of all ages gather to read a book together. Throughout the hour-long activity, the group reads aloud in unison, while library staff encourage every reader's active attention and participation. Our librarians assign pre-reading, during reading, and post-reading activities to ensure club members understand and make connections with the text.

For those who are already avid readers, the club provides an opportunity to keep improving their pronunciation and comprehension skills. Their leadership provides inspiration and reinforcement for our youngest members, who look up to them as role models. Librarian Olga explained, “By reading aloud together, readers of different levels learn from each other’s successes and mistakes and share their different interpretations of the text." Furthermore, they realize that reading can be a great way to make new friends!

Reading club member Mirsa is one of the most active participants, rarely missing a session. Librarian David notes that Mirsa always offers thoughtful responses to his questions, pushing her peers to think more deeply about the text. She is also very sociable, bringing out the best in other members by offering them positive feedback, encouraging them to enjoy themselves, and helping them stay on task. She is a wonderful example of the leadership and collective learning that can happen in a group setting.  

The majority of parents in Chajul can’t read or write themselves, so they are unable to transmit many important skills for early literacy development. Thanks to your generous support, our library is able to fill this gap by providing Chajul's youth with essential resources and a supportive community of learning. These young readers will be better prepared to succeed in school, compete for employment and education opportunities, and make positive changes in their community. Thank you for believing in their incredible potential!

Readers enjoy helping each other with new words.
Readers enjoy helping each other with new words.
Reading club member Mirsa with her favorite book.
Reading club member Mirsa with her favorite book.
Reading club provides a supportive community
Reading club provides a supportive community
Oct 31, 2018

Alumni Spotlight: Elisia

Elisia at work as an administrative assistant
Elisia at work as an administrative assistant

One of the most rewarding things about our work is getting to see the amazing impact our scholars and alumni are having in Chajul. We recently caught up with Elisia, a Youth Development Program alumna who shared with us the inspiring story of how she became an educator and leader in her community.

Like many in Chajul, Elisia was raised in an impoverished household. In a simple wooden home with a dirt floor, her family of six shared just two make-shift beds made of wooden planks. Elisia loved going to school and had dreams of building a better life for herself through education, but her parents couldn’t afford to keep supporting her studies beyond elementary school. At that time, Limitless Horizons Ixil had just started offering scholarships and support to middle schoolers in Chajul. Elisia knew little about the new program but applied anyway, eager for any opportunity to stay in school.

Thirteen years have passed since Elisia joined our Youth Development Program, and she has gone further than she ever thought possible. The academic support and mentorship she received from Limitless Horizons Ixil throughout middle school, high school, and beyond prepared her to achieve her childhood dream of graduating from university and obtaining her teaching license. She now works as a math teacher at a local middle school and as an administrative assistant at an organization that provides university scholarships to Chajul's youth. She loves her work and earns fair wages that allow her to support her family.

We could not be prouder of Elisia and are especially excited about how she is using her personal success to effect change in the community. Elisia told us, “I worked hard so that I could achieve my goals, but I wasn’t only fighting for myself, I was also fighting for my community.” Thanks to her college education, Elisia is bringing quality teaching skills to her classroom in Chajul and is a professional role model for her students. “Every day, I am motivated by the idea that I can give my students a reason to dream big,” Elisia says.

Your partnership has made it possible for alumni like Elisia to reach their goals and share their success with their community. Today, the Youth Development Program continues to support young people so that they can reach their full potential. We build personal relationships with all of our scholars to help them confidently articulate their interests and make plans for their future. In addition, our new Emerging Leaders Program provides opportunities for all alumni to further cultivate their leadership skills through specialized workshops, mentoring, and professional experiences. Thanks to you, we are able to support youth so that they can follow their dreams, providing a better future for themselves, their families and their community.   

We are thrilled at Elisia's achievements and her generosity towards others. Your support is essential to offering youth like her opportunities to accomplish their goals and become leaders in their community -- thank you for partnering with us as we work towards transformational change in Chajul!

Elisia is proud to give back to her community
Elisia is proud to give back to her community
Aug 20, 2018

Feedback from Our Library Users!

Library user engaged in her studies
Library user engaged in her studies

At Limitless Horizons Ixil, one of the ways we ensure that the Saber Sin Límites Community Library meets the needs of the community of Chajul is by regularly soliciting feedback from those who matter most – our library users themselves. As important partners in the library’s success, we are excited to share with you the results of this year’s Library Satisfaction Survey so you can see how your partnership is paying off in Chajul!

We are thrilled to report that 100% of these young people shared that they believe reading is important and education provides opportunities – especially significant considering they very likely had never held a book before joining the library! When asked why they felt this way, respondents were eager to share. One noted, “Stories motivate you – they bring you knowledge, improve your vocabulary, and help you to express yourself better.” Another told us, “Books tell important life stories. They give us positive examples to follow and negative examples to learn from.” This feedback supports our strong belief that in addition to providing crucial educational support, the library is nurturing children’s natural inclination to explore, learn, and grown.

Of our services, we weren’t surprised to learn that our younger users join us most often for story hours, while older users come for study support. In fact, these older youth (middle school and high school students) reported that they were most satisfied with the homework and research support they get from librarians and the tutoring sessions. One participant commented that she thought the tutors explained concepts better than her teachers at school, and she liked that she could ask questions to learn more. Another said that she loves that the library gives her education support that she doesn’t get at home, since she is already in a higher grade at school than her parents ever reached. Feedback for story hour was also overwhelmingly positive; one user immediately exclaimed, “I love it and always go!” while others told us how much they enjoyed learning about the history of Chajul through stories.

These results certainly reflect how your support is creating a critical public asset to the community of Chajul. Together, through the Saber Sin Límites Community Library, we are interacting with children’s natural curiosity and motivation to learn and explore, while fostering a long-term love for reading and learning – and providing the resources to do so. Thanks to you, literacy and education are being supported in ways that would not otherwise be possible. We are sincerely grateful for your partnership with Limitless Horizons Ixil—together we are creating change in Chajul that will have a positive impact for generations to come!

Photo Credit: Anna Watts

A library user receives extra academic support
A library user receives extra academic support
Our growing book collection invites exploration
Our growing book collection invites exploration
 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.