Reach Out & Read

Literacy is essential to healthy and economically viable communities

Have you ever felt like this? Like you couldn’t put the book down, so you just walked while reading it? This is how we judge our success, by catching a little girl walking through a remote village with her nose in a book. Once she wouldn’t have seen or touched a book until she started school. We’re proud to have helped bring about this change by implementing Leyendo Juntos (Reach Out & Read) in 15 villages to date.

“Leyendo Juntos”! Pictured here is Domingo, the village health promoter for San Francisco Momonlac, with his minions of future readers. In 2008, Casa Casa Colibrí received a grant from the Reach Out and Read National Center and UNESCO to start a pilot program in this remote mountain village in Guatemala. Domingo has been tremendously enthusiastic in promoting this program. Part of his motivation? His own little daughter, seen below in the purple shirt.
In the USA, this program is based in pediatric offices to help combat poverty. Even though there are no pediatricians any where near these communities, there is usually a village health promoter who weighs, measures, and gives immunizations to all the children who live there. When parents bring their children for their shots, they receive a new book and encouragement from the VHP on how important it is to look at books with their children. While most of the mothers are illiterate, they spend time looking at the pages and asking questions to their small children to help develop their language and pre-reading skills. Now we have expanded this program to fifteen villages!