Empowering Youth to Promote Children’s Literacy
Each of us learned to read because a caring adult sat us on their lap and read stories to us and shared a love and excitement for the wide world reading opens up for us. And research shows that the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.
In Guatemala, there is no developed culture of reading. Literacy rates are low, families are poor, books are too expensive to purchase, community libraries are scarce, and the school system is one of the worst in the Americas. As a result, few adults read for pleasure even if they are literate. And few read to their children.
Our Leaders and Readers Program provides scholarships and leadership development training to middle and high school students. In return, these youth give back to their own community by leading reading activities to younger children. These young people are becoming community leaders who are taking ownership of creating a new future for themselves and their community. And it is our goal to have reading promoters in communities throughout Guatemala.
Public school is not free in Guatemala. Most children, if they attend school at all, do not study beyond the sixth grade. Your donation to a scholarship fund has a double impact because not only does it keep a student in school, but the student instills the love of reading in younger children in the community, creating greater possibilities in their lives.