Fanning the Flames of Potential

We work in a country where the dominant narrative among nonprofit organizations is about brokenness, suffering, and scarcity of resources. So, there would be an understandable impulse for an organization like ours see the teens with whom we work as “at-risk,” as people whose lives need to be “fixed,” or as individuals in need of…

Our Promise To You

Every year our youth leaders stand up and make a commitment for the year ahead. This year, we decided to make a commitment to each of you. Happy Valentines Day from everyone at Reading Village.

Juanito and Linda Read a Story

Founder and Executive Director, Linda Smith, reads with Juanito – the younger brother of two Reading Village Leaders and Readers graduates.   Across Guatemala there are two million youth who cannot afford to be in school. We believe that is two million too many. Thanks to you, Juanito will never be part of this statistic. Juanito…

The Depth of Your Impact

On my recent trip to Guatemala our teen reading promoters made it clear to me that they understand the depth of the work they are doing. Over and over again I heard them talk about how it’s more than reading to kids, it’s about transforming their entire community. They see changes in themselves, the kids…

Local Leadership Takes Root

I never expected that we’d see it this soon, just two and a half years after beginning in Concepcion, but there it was right in front of me — the birth of a new generation of leaders in this community. Sunday, after Daniel and I had wrapped up the training session with our fifteen teen reading promoters, Marcela (one of the teens) told…

Carrying the Light of Literacy Into the Community

Fifteen eager youth in the community of Concpeción and nine in Pujujil gathered to kick off the year. They were presented with their book bags, lit candles representing the light of literacy, made a commitment to transform the lives of children in their communities and then carried that commitment out into the world.

The Three Bears and Origami Boats

I had so much fun yesterday watching our teen reading promoters in action! They read stories, led the children at the daycare centers in song and dance and did arts and crafts. I am very proud of their progress. They are no longer nervous in front of the groups of kids which allows them greater…

Our Teen Reading Promoters In Action

Last Saturday our teen reading promoters met the challenge of reading to their first group of children. They invited 24 kids to a small one-day reading festival. They planned and organized, purchased materials, decorated the room, prepared a craft activity (see bunny ears!) and their stories, and then read and had fun with the kids….