About a year ago, you donated to my community, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity that your books provided.
Two other Peace Corps volunteers and I designed and facilitated seminars focused on reading instruction to English teachers of my region, Panama Este. About 30 teachers attended each month through their own volition and a professional community emerged, an unexpected result of our initial proposal but one of the greatest impacts of our project. Midway through the year, we distributed about 50 reading books to each English department of the 10 different schools who attended. Then, during each month, the teachers learned new ways to incorporate these books into their lessons, including conducting a Read Aloud, Choral Reading, and Reader’s Theater.
As for the students, we three volunteers read to them weekly and supported our assigned counterparts in conducting Read Alouds and a small play based on a story. My students LOVED the stories and illustrations and couldn’t wait for the following week’s Reading Day. The students now have access to over 500 different storybooks in both English and Spanish. Unfortunately, I will not be reading to them this year but I know they will continue to enjoy the books with the English teachers of my school.
Once again, thank you. I know the students wouldn’t have experienced the magical worlds of books without your donation. Please click on the video below to see a short video of our project:
Peace Corps Panama 2011-2012
Muchas gracias to the family and friends of Ken Whelan, who have established a memorial book fund in his name. For summer 2013, they are providing BBW sites with copies of Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham (Huevos Verdes con Jamon). They hope to continue this tradition of purchasing a book each year in his name.
Ken died tragically and far too young in November of 2011. He had a passion for education and was pursuing a PhD. Liam, his 4 year old son, loves Dr. Seuss books and this book is his favorite. It is fitting that hundreds of other children will be enjoying this wonderful and silly story, due to the generosity of Ken’s family and friends. Please make your donation end in 2 cents in honor of his two young children he loved. For example, you may donate $25.02, $50.02 or $100.02.
UPDATE: We are pleased to announce that so far over $800 has been donated to the Ken Whelan Memorial Book Fund. Thanks so much for all your contributions! Keep them coming!
Kids at “La Concepcion” enjoying their new books. — in Guatemala
Lorenzo Reyes helps start Books for a Better World in Guatemala over 10 years ago. His students are so lucky to have him! Their love of reading is palpable. Also, he arranged to have this outdoor space turned into a reading corner as a project of the nearby high school. It is going to be so amazing when it is finished! Gracias, Lorenzo, por todo lo que haces! — in Guatemala
These little girls at “Dolores” loved their new books! But maybe they need to share with the boy next to them… — in Guatemala
About half way back we met up randomly with this guy, Augusto Garcia, who was super nice and walked with us. He gave me the stick he had found to use as a walking stick, and made sure we were ok. It turns out he is from Nino Perdido, where Mily used to work. In other good news, he had a truck and gave us a ride the last mile back to the highway!
They REALLY wanted to hear us speak English, so we read a bilingual book about the Argentina football (soccer) team. I read in English, then had volunteers read the Spanish. — in San José El Espinero, Baja Verapaz
The teacher at “Centro de Bienestar” Showing off his little library. — in Guatemala
The director of the school, Augusto, sharing some paterna with us. The seeds inside the big green pod have a white cottenlike coating that tastes sweet. — in San José El Espinero, Baja Verapaz
taking pictures of beautiful vistas was a good excuse to take a breather on the hike out. — in San José El Espinero, Baja Verapaz
enjoying the new books — in San José El Espinero, Baja Verapaz
Lorenzo Reyes and his class showing off his traveling book cart, dedicated to the founder of Books for a Better World, Kae Robb. — in Guatemala
With funding from Books for a Better World, Lorenzo Reyes was able to buy this traveling library cart to deliver books to different rooms of the school. Now more kids at this big school get a chance to read the books. — in Guatemala
After class was dismissed, these guys stuck around to read a little more. The girls are wearing traditional mayan clothing. For most of these kids, Spanish is their second language. At home they speak Poqomchi’, a Mayan language. — in San José El Espinero, Baja Verapaz
These girls were excited to see us and read new books! — in Guatemala
This young director of the school “Divina Proidencia” proudly showed off his little library. — in Guatemala
Students at the school “El Durazno” sitting pretty while Suzanne reads them a great story. — in Guatemala
In San José El Espinero, Baja Verapaz
Lost in their new books – Honduras
Listening to Alice tell about the books they’ve brought – Honduras
Alice and one of BBW’s biggest fans :)
Honduras boy happily reading a new book
Honduran kids happy about their new books!
Exploring the new books from BBW – Honduras
The kids at Centro de Bienestar were so thankful to get new books! — in Guatemala
Suzanne reads books to an attentive group of boys. — in Guatemala.
Volunteers reading to the class about futbol. — in San José El Espinero, Baja Verapaz.
a girl proudly showing others the new book — in San José El Espinero, Baja Verapaz.
This trip included collaboration with ConTextos, another non-profit that focuses on literacy/education in Central America — in El Salvador
bike) while a group of students at the school “Dolores” soaked it in. — in Guatemala
At the school “Las Curenas” In El Salvador, they use this cute box of books so that the kids can read during recess. Box says “Read for learning. Discover interesting things!” — in El Salvador
These are all the from “El Nino Perdido”. The day we visited, they invited us to lunch after school in celebration of their student teacher graduating. — in Guatemala
This class at school “El Durazno” weren’t the only ones who loved this book. “Dinosaurios en Calzoncillos” (Dinosaurs in underpants) was one of the most loved books of the year! — in Guatemala
“Centro de Bienestar” is a daycare/afterschool center for kids whose moms have to work or aren’t there to take care of them. They were a crazy bunch of kids, but they LOVED the books, especially “10 Pequeno Monos” (10 little monkeys) when read by Suzanne. — in Guatemala
zoomed out, you can see the waterfall way in the distance — with Cascada de Chilascó in San José El Espinero, Baja Verapaz
This classroom of 5th graders at Cerro la Cruz enjoy reading. — in Guatemala
A boy at the school “Cerro la Cruz” enjoying reading a new book. — in Guatemala
Book for a Better World’s first (hopefully annual) Teacher Workshop was a huge success, thanks to much help from ConTextos — at Ahuachapan, El Salvador
This great school in El Salvador, “Los Pin”, has teachers with such great energy. The kids were pretty awesome, too! — in El Salvador
Young students enjoying reading some new books together. — in Guatemala
There are 2 rooms to the school, one for grades 1-3, the other grades 4-6. — in San José El Espinero, Baja Verapaz
Suzanne, lugging the box of new books up to the school “Cerro la Cruz”. ‘Cerro’ means ‘hill’ in Spanish, and they weren’t kidding! — in Guatemala
The younger ones, waiting for the big group photo. — in San José El Espinero, Baja Verapaz
These 3 boys, 5th and 6th graders from the school, met us at La Divina Provedencia (a school only a 30 minute walk from the highway) and helped us get to the school in San Jose Espinero, an 1.5 hour walk hike, mostly downhill, which made the return trip mostly uphill… 3 hours!. I’m sure these boys could have run the entire way. — in San José El Espinero, Baja Verapaz
Super steep and muddy hill to climb. In the end we decided that we hiked about 9 miles total. — in San José El Espinero, Baja Verapaz
mayan women climbing the deforested mountains — with Mayan women in San José El Espinero, Baja Verapaz
Girls in traditional Mayan clothing sharing a new book at school “Dolores” — in Guatemala
Students at “Dolores” showing off their new books. — in Guatemala
These boys at the school “Dolores” enjoyed sharing this book. — in Guatemala
This 4th grade class at “El Tunal” really enjoyed telling us their favorite stories! — in Guatemala
Kids at the school “La Concepcion” in El Salvador enjoying their new books — in El Salvador
walking across a bridge to eventually get back to the highway. From here on out it was mostly uphill, and steep. It took us 1.5 hours to get to the school, and 3 hours to return! — in San José El Espinero, Baja Verapaz
enjoying choosing new books to read — in San José El Espinero, Baja Verapaz
Students at “Cerro la Cruz” showing off their new books — in Guatemala
A girl reading about Futbol stars, while I interject to ask a question, at school “Nino Perdido” — in Guatemala
Rudy, Juan, and Avelardo helped carry our stuff to the school. I was sooo slow, but the stick I found helped. — in San José El Espinero, Baja Verapaz
Precious girl in El Salvador – Escuela “El Castaño” — in El Salvador
Local teachers brainstorming ideas at our teacher workshop. — at Ahuachapan, El Salvador
beautiful views — in San José El Espinero, Baja Verapaz
Kids enjoying learning about dinosaur bones at school “La Concepcion”. — in El Salvador
They can’t wait to get their hands on the new books! — in San José El Espinero, Baja Verapaz
sticking around after school was over to see us off. — in San José El Espinero, Baja Verapaz
the school of San Jose Espinero — in San José El Espinero, Baja Verapaz
Very happy to have new books — in San José El Espinero, Baja Verapaz
This boy at the school “Divina Providencia” proudly read to the rest of the class. Notice the mudboots. All of the boys wore them because they have to walk through the mud to get to school everyday! — in Guatemala
Recently Books for a Better World was spotlighted in North Valley Magazine. Check out this nice article Carol La Valley wrote about us.
Carol La Valley speaks to the volunteers and organizers of this charitable organization looking to bring the power of books to children in impoverished countries.
This summer, a group of hikers will spend several hours traversing a wet, slippery trail in the remote jungle of Guatemala to bring books to elementary school children at the San Jose, El Espinero school. These are storybooks bursting with possibilities, all lush with photographs and illustrations of giant dinosaurs, a soccer star, a fairy princess. The hikers represent Books for a Better World (BBW). Read entire article here.
One of our amazing volunteers, Amy Pulver, has taken it upon herself to do a t-shirt sale fundraiser for Books for a Better World.
The adorable shirts, pictured here, can be purchased for $20 for adult sizes and $15 for kids sizes (plus $2.50 for shipping).
To order, please contact Amy at email@example.com. You can pay for the shirts right here on our website by clicking on the blue Donate button to the right. If you order by June 11, 2012, your shirt will be shipped the following week.