This year we have nearly 100 teens participating in our Leaders & Readers Program. As a result, they are enrolled in high school, attending leadership workshops & providing reading activities to thousands of young children. With your support, these hard working teens will help ensure the next generation has both the literacy and education they need to help move their communities out of poverty.
Seventy-five percent of Guatemala's population lives below the poverty line, and apart from Haiti, the literacy rate is the worst in the Western Hemisphere. In the rural indigenous region where we work, most parents are illiterate, families survive on just a few dollars a day, only 5% of people complete 3rd grade, and less ever reach high school. We know that education can bring prosperity to low-income communities, but in most of Guatemala, secondary school is simply too expensive.
Our Leaders and Readers Program is built on the foundations of education, leadership, and literacy. This interdisciplinary program offers leadership development training and mentoring led by our Guatemalan staff in addition to the high school scholarships we provide for Maya teenagers to go to high school. In return, the teens give back to their own communities by leading dynamic reading activities for young children which allows the children to develop critical Spanish language literacy skills.
Working in partnership with rural, Maya communities, we leverage youth development, literacy and education as mechanisms to improve quality of life and transform the lives of our youth leaders & those around them. By creating the conditions for children and youth to discover their full potential, Reading Village empowers them to become agents of change in the world. The teens and the next generation behind them will ultimately work to break their communities free from they cycle of poverty.