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Category: Founders Corner

The Truth About Teens

Eight years ago when we first began thinking about community-based reading promoters, a group of Guatemalan advisors cautioned us saying: “We’re going to tell you the truth about teens. You can’t build a successful literacy program that depends on teen-age kids! At that age they are just too distracted and unpredictable.” Despite warnings from the…

It Takes a Village to Create a Reading Village

November marks the end of the Guatemalan school year as well as the Reading Village program year. And so we gathered with our partner communities to celebrate this year’s successes and the high school graduations of the youth leaders who have completed our program. This year 50 teens reached 2,500 children with regular and dynamic…

Join Our 30×30 Campaign This December

“I want to go to university,” Beverly declared to me. Her bright eyes and ease belying the difficult path that led this 14-year-old to interview for a high school scholarship. “I never knew my father, and my mother never even reached third grade. But I dream of having a professional job, and I want all…

Founder’s Corner: Something of Value

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…

Founder’s Corner: Building a Foundation for a Better Future

When Reading Village was in its first stages of development, I received some sage advice from a colleague who had learned the hard way. “Don’t spread your communities all around the country,” he said. “Grow regionally. It will allow you to take advantage of organic connections between the communities and allow you to maximize your…

Julio César Finds His Voice

I remember vividly just two years ago our first meeting ever with the first teen reading promoters in Concepcion. Julio Cesar’s beet-red face belied his embarrassment at having to crow like a rooster whenever it came up in a story being read aloud. It was so challenging for him I wondered to myself if he’d ever be capable of reading a story in…

Our First Group of Reading Promoters

In our Leaders and Readers program we will provide scholarships (to attend high school) and leadership training to seven teens who, in return, will give back to their communities by leading reading activities with the younger children in Concepcion. During my trip I interviewed the candidates and met their families. The program will begin in…