Founder’s Corner: Something of Value

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RV - Gender

Most of our teens are initially attracted to our program for the scholarship component. Who could blame them? But we are not just a scholarship program. We are a leadership development, community development organization. So while every teen who applies to our program is in need of a scholarship, we are also looking for those who have a spark in them, a spark of creativity, of love for children, a potential for leadership and an ability to read.

The commitment that we expect from our teens is not small. They read to younger children for at least three hours a week and attend 15 workshops every year to learn about  team work, communications skills, values and goal setting, how to lead a reading activity, how to handle life’s difficult decisions, how to open their eyes to the power they have to change the situation in which they live and to do their work with heart.

Interestingly, two sets of parents recently approached Daniel Guzman our Program Coordinator and asked him if their teens could participate in our program without receiving the scholarship! Apparently these families have enough money to educate their children but see the teens in our program have grown and see the value in their children participating. The value beyond the buck!

Our impact stretches far beyond the high school scholarship. Our teens are brining innovative literacy activities to young children. And they are leveraging their leadership skills to initiate community development projects that will change the trajectories of future generations. That’s an impact that parents want their teens to be a part of!

I don’t know if these teens will end up joining our program. What I do know is that it speaks volumes about the value of our Leaders & Readers program because it is attracting attention from parents who don’t need the scholarship but still value the learning and development process enough to ask if their children could benefit from it.

– Linda Smith, Founder & Executive Director of Reading Village

One thought on “Founder’s Corner: Something of Value

  1. Linda, I have a dream. My dream is to hold a teachers’ workshop at the clinic where we work in NW Guatemala (or possibly in Barillas if we have many attendees). The teachers’ workshop would be a one-day workshop where primary-school teachers will learn how to promote reading to their young students, and how to develop family literacy in their communities. I am working on the funding for this dream right now. My vision is that, in addition to having speakers present one-hour themes on many variations of that topic, I will have a “book fair,” where each teacher will receve coupons to choose books for his/her classroom. I would like to have a big tent with tables, and the teachers would select books to take back to their schools after the workshop is over.

    I have asked the teachers what topics they would like to see at this workshop, and wheels are turning. I have also received a very large in-kind donation from Artemis Edinter booksellers in Guatemala City, but they chose the titles. They are excellent educational titles but are more like schoolbooks rather than titles that kids would read for fun.

    I wonder if you and a few of your Reader Leaders would be a part of this workshop, telling the teachers about your program and showing them how it could work in their communities. I don’t have a date yet. I have to get funding secured first. Please tell me your thoughts.

    Siempre tu amiga,
    Linda