Early Childhood Literacy & Nutrition in Guatemala

by The Frances and Henry Riecken Foundation, Inc. Vetted since 2009 Site Visit Verified


This project trains marginally educated mothers of pre-schoolers from five different rural communities in Guatemala to promote pre-literacy skills and the value of good nutrition. Activities held in the library and at home will prepare the children for the formal education system which will reduce both drop-out and malnutrition rates, giving the children the chance of a better future.

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Rural communities in Guatemala are trapped in a cycle of poverty as a result of inefficiencies in both the education and health systems. The illiteracy and drop out rates are among the highest in Latin America especially among women and girls. Children in rural areas who attend school often have low performance because of poor nutrition and an uninspired educational system. While children are the future for their communities there is little they can do without a full education.


There is much evidence that educational success depends on early stimulation and nutrition. Children who develop a reading habit are more likely to succeed in school and, clearly, good nutrition is fundamental for them to develop their potential. With marginally educated mothers intervention is required to break the cycle. These moms just do not know that their kids can't succeed with a diet of tortillas; nor do they understand the importance of developing pre-literacy skills.

Long-Term Impact

We expect that by giving up to 300 pre-schoolers a sound start that they will have a much better chance to become successful professionals. As they start their formal education they will continue to receive support from the libraries through story hours, book clubs and other activities that develop creativity and critical thinking. With nutritional and educational support these future leaders will have the capacity to lead their communities towards better opportunities and a better future.



Organization Information

The Frances and Henry Riecken Foundation, Inc.

Location: Princeton, NJ - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.riecken.org
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @rieckenlibraries
Project Leader:
William Cartwright
Miami Springs, Florida United States
$4,455 raised of $17,500 goal
156 donations
$13,045 to go
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