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1 Guatemala Literacy Project A partnership between North American & Guatemalan Rotary clubs and the non-profit organization Cooperative for Education Rebecca.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Guatemala Literacy Project A partnership between North American & Guatemalan Rotary clubs and the non-profit organization Cooperative for Education Rebecca."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Guatemala Literacy Project A partnership between North American & Guatemalan Rotary clubs and the non-profit organization Cooperative for Education Rebecca Wilks Peoria North Rotary, AZ

2 Guatemala Literacy Project Thank you for the opportunity to share some information with you about the youth of Guatemala and how the Guatemala Literacy Project is helping them improve their future. I am a veteran of two tours to Guatemala With the GLP. I am a huge fan of this program, and would like to show you why. As you will see, Guatemala is a beautiful country full of natural wonders. It almost seems impossible to believe that this incredible place could be both so beautiful and so heart-breaking.

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7 Guatemala Literacy Project That is where the Guatemala Literacy Project (GLP) comes into play. So what is the GLP? That is where the Guatemala Literacy Project (GLP) comes into play. So what is the GLP? The GLP is a partnership between North American & Guatemalan Rotary Clubs and the Cooperative for Education (CoEd).The GLP is a partnership between North American & Guatemalan Rotary Clubs and the Cooperative for Education (CoEd). We create self-sustaining textbook and computer lab programs within impoverished community schools.We create self-sustaining textbook and computer lab programs within impoverished community schools. We also train the teachers to be better educators, provide scholarships to deserving students, and have initiated a program in rural primary schools that creates a culture of reading and promotes literacy.We also train the teachers to be better educators, provide scholarships to deserving students, and have initiated a program in rural primary schools that creates a culture of reading and promotes literacy.

8 Textbooks Scholarships Computer Centers Teacher Training Culture of Reading Guatemala Literacy Project (GLP)

9 GLP: Project Totals 92,700 students have benefited from GLP projects 10% of all rural Guatemalan secondary schools covered so far 194 textbook projects 174,306 textbooks in circulation Almost 33,000 impoverished schoolchildren 39 computer centers 14,532 students 39 mini-libraries

10 GLP The project focuses on secondary schools as they have traditionally been overlooked by the international development community (most education projects focus on primary school students). Research points out that secondary education is vital to personal development and full civic participation. The project focuses on secondary schools as they have traditionally been overlooked by the international development community (most education projects focus on primary school students). Research points out that secondary education is vital to personal development and full civic participation. Our projects are clustered mainly in the Western Highlands region, an area plagued by rampant violence, poverty, inequality, and illiteracy. Our projects are clustered mainly in the Western Highlands region, an area plagued by rampant violence, poverty, inequality, and illiteracy.

11 Rotary Volunteers in Guatemala Each year, around 40 Rotarians volunteer to travel to Guatemala to inaugurate that year’s projects. One thing I’ve always liked about this project is that you don’t just write a check and stick it in the mail. You have an opportunity to travel to Guatemala to meet the families, see the schools, and be a good- will ambassador. Consider joining us for the 2010 Delivery Tour in February. (information at

12 Guatemala Literacy Project (GLP): 13 Years, 347 Rotary Clubs, 58 Districts

13 Rotary GLP and The Cooperative for Education (CoEd) GLP: A partnership between North American & Guatemalan Rotary clubs and the non-profit organization Cooperative for Education The project is implemented jointly by Rotary Clubs/ Districts and the non-profit organization, Cooperative for Education (CoEd). CoEd’s mission is to break the cycle of poverty in Guatemala by providing textbooks, libraries and computers to impoverished schools.

14 Guatemala’s Western Highlands Natural Beauty and Tremendous Poverty

15 Half cannot read or write Few rural children have ever touched a keyboard or mouse Average of 4 years of schooling 90% of schools lack books

16 GLP Meeting the Need: Textbooks The project provides first-ever textbooks in the four core subjects of math, science, language, and social studies. The books are in Spanish and purchased in Guatemala, which is cheaper, more culturally appropriate and helps the local economy. The communities welcome us with open arms.

17 RESULTS An independent study conducted by Marroquin University in Guatemala City Studies showed that the textbook initiative has cut the drop-out rate nearly in half at participating schools. An independent study conducted by Marroquin University in Guatemala City Studies showed that the textbook initiative has cut the drop-out rate nearly in half at participating schools. Nearly all teachers say that books nearly double the material that they can cover in a year. Nearly all teachers say that books nearly double the material that they can cover in a year. A UN study found that education creates approximately 10% more in earnings per year for each year of education. So, if we take a sixth grader and convince him to stay in school just one more year and become a 7 th grader – he’ll make 10% more per year for the rest of his life, and another 10% for every additional year. A UN study found that education creates approximately 10% more in earnings per year for each year of education. So, if we take a sixth grader and convince him to stay in school just one more year and become a 7 th grader – he’ll make 10% more per year for the rest of his life, and another 10% for every additional year.

18 GLP Meeting the Need: Computer Centers The GLP and CoEd establish computer centers primarily in rural Guatemalan schools that already operate a successful textbook program. It’s amazing how fast these kids pick up the technology. Within two weeks they know enough to show their parents and siblings basic functions. By mid-year, they’re touring the Louvre (in Encarta). More importantly, these centers provide marketable skills, software tools, problem-solving, and access to the world through Encarta and the Internet.

19 GLP Meeting the Need: Computer Centers It’s neat to see – after we put in a computer lab, the school grows. Parents see that their kids are going to get a good education, so they increasingly send them to school. For example, at CoEd’s flagship school, Tecpán National, enrollment has grown 17% per year since the inauguration of the center in May Dropout rates have declined by 48%. This impact is encouraging in a country whose educational system is plagued by staggering dropout rates: roughly 85% of rural Guatemalan children leave school before reaching the 7th grade[1]. [1] The World Bank

20 “Revolving Fund” Concept Allows Sustainability New textbook costs $5 Student pays $1 in 2008 Student pays $1 in 2009 Student pays $1 in 2010 Student pays $1 in 2011 Student pays $1 in 2012

21 “Revolving Fund” Concept is sustainable Small annual fee replaces books and the cycle continues forever

22 “Revolving Fund” Concept is sustainable Here’s an example. Let’s say a book costs $5 in Guatemala. If a different student pays a dollar each year to use the book for that year, we have $5– enough to replace the book. Since students & their families make a financial contribution to the project, they have a vested interest in its success. They experience the pride, confidence and dignity that come from helping themselves.

23 Results 95% book return rate 85% of teachers say books make large impact 90% of students say books help them learn and retain information 46% reduction in drop-out rates

24 Meeting the Need: Guatemala Advanced Teacher Education (GATE)

25 Teachers typically have only a high school education and receive little, if any, formal training. The default teaching method is the “chalk and talk” instructional method and is boring for the students: Dictation Repetition Note memorization. CoEd developed training based on the International Reading Association’s successful Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking methodology The training gives teachers over 60 effective, interactive, modern teaching skills.

26 Meeting the Need: Culture of Reading Program (CORP) Read to the class every day Rewrite the story Act out the story

27 Meeting the Need: Culture of Reading Program (CORP) Primary school children in rural Guatemala typically read three years below grade level. Thus they view reading as a chore, not as a fun and enriching activity. Kids do not have books in their schools or homes. They do not develop an enjoyment of reading. Reading teachers often teach basic phonics and grammar in isolation, without helping children understand the meaning behind the words.

28 Meeting the Need: Culture of Reading Program (CORP) Creates a culture and love of reading by teaching reading through stories: If you can get a kid to love a good story, you can get them to love a good book. Stories are re-told to the kids several times, in different ways to get them involved in and excited about the story Showing them the pictures and initiating discussion about what the kids think the story might be about. Read the story to the class. Students act out the story Class retells the story in their own words Students write stories of their own.

29 Rotary Recognition Rotarian Article (2004) United Nations Rotary Day Presentation (2005) RI Annual Report (2006) Rotary World Article (2007)

30 How you can help… Spread the Word Club Participation Matching Grants Guatemala Project Tours…Life-changing!

31 Vision for the Future When these children are old enough to go to school, we want them to have the books, library materials, and computers they need to get a quality education. Through a quality education, they’ll be able to get better jobs and take on leadership roles in their communities. Our work will be complete when, armed with education, these kids pull themselves, their community, and their country permanently out of poverty.

32 Vision for the Future In closing, I’d like to share with you a story that was told to us by the principal at Santiago Cooperative School. He saw the need in his school, he saw the hopeless looks on the faces of his teachers. He saw his students being forced to drop out due to failing grades or lack of finances for their education. He had no books or supplies to offer his staff and students, so he was helpless in providing hope. He felt like a failure to his staff, his students, his community, and himself. The world was working against him.

33 Vision for the Future Then CoEd came to help. He said that they provided textbooks, ensured hope, and gave him a reason to try again. They invested in him – his school, his community. Through the help and support of CoEd, he was shown that someone was for him. Everyone soon collaborated together to bring change to their community, and now Santiago has textbooks, a computer center, and nearly 50 students receiving CoEd scholarships. Change are happening. It just takes a little investment.

34 Contacts Rebecca Wilks Rotary Club of Peoria North, AZ Glenn Chamberlain Rotary Club of Ephrata, WA Cooperative for Education provides administrative support: Mary Graham, (CoEd, 2730 Hyde Park Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45209)

35 Thank you for your attention!


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