We build lending libraries in indigenous, coffee-growing communities in Guatemala to provide children with access to books and literacy activities. We train local teachers to use library resources to weave reading and writing into the fabric of their classrooms.
Guatemala has the second lowest literacy rate in Latin America and only one out of ten rural Guatemalans graduates from middle school. Many students in the western highlands of Guatemala face additional challenges like poverty, illness, and language barriers (Spanish is often their second language). This results in widespread illiteracy and low levels of economic mobility, especially for women.
We work with local leaders to build lending libraries in primary schools. The libraries are furnished with Spanish books and games to build bilingual literacy skills. Additional literacy activities, such as summer camps and skill-building games, further strengthen students' literacy skills and improve their academic performance.
In addition to boosting students' literacy rates, the project empowers teachers and administrators to take ownership of libraries and their resources. Through teacher trainings and capacity building seminars, we seek to embed literacy activities into the culture of our partner schools and communities.