How Reading Translates to Leading

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A few weeks ago the Reading Village Board spent an hour on a Skype call with some of our youth leaders. One of those teens was Alicia. When I first met Alicia three years ago I said to myself, “What a thoughtful, soft spoken girl.” On Tuesday I got to see who Alicia has become   …Continue Reading

The Power of Observation

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Maricela Correa-Chávez and Barbara Rogoff of the University of California, Santa Cruz, published a study that shows indigenous Mayan children when compared to European American children pay more attention to and learn from activities going on in their environment — activities not specifically directed at them. Much of a Mayan child’s time is spent observing   …Continue Reading

Why Guatemala

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People often ask me why do I return to Guatemala year after year. My answer spills out of my mouth with enthusiasm these days. “Because I get to witness the work of the youth leaders and community facilitators of Reading Village.” But that is not how I got to Guatemala the first time. In 2004   …Continue Reading

Even a Duck Deserves a Hug

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Our Experience Teaching Empathy to Young Leaders A few weeks ago, I saw a bumper sticker that read: “I am not good at feelings. Will you settle for sarcasm?”  I got a chuckle out of it. But it also reminded me that we don’t do feelings very well in our culture. Boys in particular, receive   …Continue Reading

Realizing the Multiplier Effect of Books

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Let me let you in on a little known secret: books have a multiplier effect.  A book doesn’t just empower one child; it empowers many.  That’s because children who receive books share that book:  they bring it home to read with their siblings, parents, grandparents.  Together, they point out pictures, sound out words, marvel at   …Continue Reading

Lidia’s Dreams for the Future

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When I met Lidia this past January her personality shined through in so many different ways. She said she was shy, but that’s not what I saw in this outspoken 16-year-old from the rural, indigenous Guatemalan community of Chuiquel. She was thoughtful before she spoke, but she raised her hand often to speak and voice   …Continue Reading

What Are You Going To Do About It?

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Marley Dias is like a lot of 11-year-old girls in West Orange, New Jersey. She loves getting lost in a book. But the books she was reading at school were missing something. She enjoyed Where the Red Fern Grows and the Shiloh series, but those classics, found in so many classrooms, were all about white   …Continue Reading

Beautiful Bilingualism

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Imagine sitting down at a wooden desk in a simple classroom. The cement floor is cold and sunlight streams in through the sole window. You’re nervous, it’s your first day after all, but you’re surrounded by your peers and eager to learn. When the teacher arrives and the lesson begins you’re terrified to realize you   …Continue Reading

Learning Journey 2016 – Day 5

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There is nothing more joyous than watching a child’s face light up during the telling of a story. Today we had the opportunity to light up the faces of about 300 children! This morning we Gringos donned masks and enacted stories skillfully read by Reading Village youth leaders, something they do for three hours every   …Continue Reading