Asturias Academy Library: Reading for Change

by Colegio Miguel Angel Asturias
Jun 13, 2011

Library: From the beginning

Reading "Magic Tree House"!
Reading "Magic Tree House"!

Hi everyone,

We cannot believe it is already June and we have just finished our second quarter exams! We have had quite an exciting May, from Mother’s Day and our Antigua field trip, and even an exciting early June, with the arrival of two new volunteers and midterm week. On that last point, the students are certainly glad to be done with the exams!

We would like to thank you for your continued support of our students and our mission, as well as to take the time to update you on several of our other major projects. At this time last year, we were in the midst of construction on the first community library in the region. Well, we are now proud to state that we are largely finished thanks to your donations and our volunteers that have helped us along the way.

Many friends from all over the place helped us construct the space, install the new bookcases and in general, build the frame for our beautiful library.

More friends, from Illinois State University, Carleton University, University of Florida, and Librarians Without Borders later helped us catalogue and shelve the books.

Now, several months later, we are proud to introduce our new library. We are equally proud to say that our students have become enthralled with reading and have made vast improvements in their abilities.

As one specific example, when asked what he liked to do for fun, nine-year-old Jorge responded, “I like playing soccer, but I also like going up to the library; I think I like them both equally.”

The library has also become a great place for volunteers and students to spend time together one-on-one, something to which many of our students do not readily have access at home. By reading together aloud, we are able to work on pronunciation, and are even asked for the English equivalent of certain words!

In addition to the anecdotal evidence of our students’ blossoming love of reading, we have also documented significant improvements in reading levels, as reading speeds for 3rd-6th grades have increased 16-23% this year. Steve Mullaney our head librarian, states, “Students have really taken to the library at the Asturias Academy. In January students struggled with sticking with a book.  Reading more than a few pages was hard because folks were not used to it. Now, in June, every student has finished multiple novels. However, one of the best success stories comes from 3rd grade. In January only two kids were reading chapter books and a third of the class needed remedial reading help. Now, in June, everyone is reading chapter books and all of the students receiving remedial help have graduated to independent reading.”

Again, we would like to thank your for your continued support of the Colegio Miguel Angel Asturias, as without you, none of this would have been possible. If you are willing to further your support, the only way to further solidify our students’ new-found habit is to keep their interest by offering new stories for them to enjoy. Thus, any donation you could offer would be most appreciative. is again allowing us to further amplify this process by matching 30% of every donation that is made to our organization online on JUNE 15th, 2011, USING THIS AND ONLY THIS LINK: 

Therefore, after the administrative fees, a $10 donation becomes $13, which is nearly enough to purchase one book for our library, creating the opportunity to further our students’ imaginations.

Warmest wishes for a happy and healthy summer!

The Asturias Academy


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Organization Information

Colegio Miguel Angel Asturias

Location: Quetzaltenango, PA - Guatemala
Colegio Miguel Angel Asturias
Project Leader:
Jorge Chojolan
Quetzaltenango, Quetzaltenango Guatemala

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