Archive for the ‘Culture of Reading Program’ Category

2017 Sneak Peek

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Are you excited for 2017 with Guatemalan students yet!? 2015 was #Awesomeyear, 2016 was even better, and 2017 is gonna be the best yet. Take a peek at what lies in store for you, CoEd supporters:

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Inaugurating our new Education Center, which will consolidate our staff offices in the very heart of the country, helping us be a more together, more efficient poverty-busting team! (We also got some cool bonus features like solar panels and teacher-training rooms.)

panorama of the new center

Isn’t it pretty?

Paola tries out our new Ed Center.

Student approved.

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All Noe Wants Is a Hug

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

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Dear CoEd supporters,

Here at CoEd we never stop giving thanks for you, and we hope you have much to be thankful for as well.

As the gift-giving season kicks off, we wanted to share with you a special story of a third-grade student named Noe. Earlier this year as part of CoEd’s Culture of Reading Program, Noe’s teacher Maria read her students a book titled The Surprise Gift. To exercise their critical thinking skills, she asked them to answer questions related to the story, and one of those questions was: “What kind of gift would you like for your birthday?”

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That Face You Make…

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

In honor of International Literacy Day, we thought it was high time that we let some of our sprightly young Culture of Reading Program (CORP) students teach you a few things about proper reading technique. Namely, exactly what facial expressions one should make while engaging in various reading-related activities, from vocabulary exercises to dramatization of a story. Captured in their natural habitat, these emotive masters will dazzle you with their superb expressive technique. Go ahead and limber up your own facial muscles so you can play along at home with That Face You Make…

1) when you love practicing your letters
chubby cheeks and wide smiles

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Re-Learning How to Read

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

CORP students

Do you remember learning how to read? Depending on your age, you may have had fun with Dick and Jane or molded your mouth around consonant blends with Hooked on Phonics. But in Guatemala, neither storybooks nor syllables are standard fare. Instead, educators teach reading as an exercise in rote memorization of individual words. Words remain just arrangements of lines and curves, so students have a hard time interpreting new words on their own, and entire sentences, paragraphs, and stories never coalesce into meaning.

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Florencio Fernando Teleguario: Dreamer to Be

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

We often tell stories of students with big dreams and students who have made their dreams reality, thanks to your support and CoEd’s innovative programs. The truth is, many of these students started off without a dream—many of them thought a life of toil and poverty was inescapable—until you changed their lives.

Florencio Fernando Teleguario is still without a dream. When asked how far he wants to go in school, Florencio responds, “I don’t know,” and when asked what he wants to be when he grows up, he says, “I want to work with a hoe.” Currently, Florencio works alongside his mother in the fields every day after school. He considers himself the man of the house, shouldering responsibility for his mother and five sisters on his thin, 12-year-old frame.

His father used to send money home from the United States, but now he spends his money on alcohol and Florencio rarely hears from him. All of his sisters dropped of out of school before the sixth grade, two of them before the second grade. It’s no wonder, then, that Florencio assumes he will one day drop out too.

But wait! Don’t worry! Something is changing for Florencio, and we know it will make you smile as wide as him!

Florencio with his favorite book, "Bear Under the Sun"

Florencio with his favorite book

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CORP Teacher Wins National Prize in Guatemala

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

Sergio Jimenez receiving Maestro 100 Puntos award_20nov2015Sixth-grade teacher Sergio Jiménez Valenzuela just received a big boost of confidence by being one of ten teachers in the entire country of Guatemala to receive a prestigious national prize called “Maestro 100 Puntos”.

What helped him get to this point? Why, the Culture of Reading Program, of course!
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Understanding through participation {or How Scrabble Changes Everything}

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

involve me and i'll understand (2)

We never thought Scrabble would be such a smashing success at our CORP training sessions. We were wrong.

Let’s back up for a second and review exactly what we mean by “CORP training”. As you may know, our Culture of Reading Program (CORP) involves 60 training hours in literacy instruction for primary school teachers, as well as two whole years of in-class coaching and teacher support. (more…)

Ingrid Tobar Xico: Surpassing Statistics

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015
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From left to right: teacher Maria, student Ingrid, and mother Juana showing off the ABC book nine-year-old Ingrid created in class. Chimaltenango, Guatemala, February 2015.

One out of every four adults in Guatemala cannot read, and the average education level is a mere 4.1 years—the second lowest in all of Latin America. It is no coincidence that 75.6% of rural Guatemalans live below the country’s poverty line, earning less than $4 per day.

Ingrid Tobar Xico should undoubtedly become one of these statistics; all signs point in that direction. Neither of her parents made it past primary school, and all three of her older siblings have dropped out as well. Her family is poor, uneducated, and stuck. Ingrid’s mother Juana, a housewife, has to deal with an alcoholic husband who makes a meager amount of money farming on good days, and takes out his frustrations with his fists on bad days.

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Guatemala’s Award Winning Principal

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Breaking news from Guate!

On Tuesday, November 25th Gilberto Adán Aquino Choc, the principal of El Calvario primary school in Santo Domingo Xenacoj, became the first ever principal to receive the Director 100 Puntos award, a national award given to educators who embody good teaching practices and contribute to the improved learning of Guatemalan students.

Director 100 Puntos Award

Can you spot Adán in this group? Hint: he’s the one with an armful of awards!

This is exciting for two reasons:

1. El Calvario utilizes CoEd’s Culture of Reading Program (CORP), and Adán is quick to recognize CORP’s role in bringing incredibly important tools and techniques to their school that has helped both teachers and students alike excel in the classroom. (more…)

Irma gets more teacher training: In her own words

Thursday, August 7th, 2014
A Culture of Reading Program teacher trainee talks with the Cooperative for Education about her life and her experiences with CORP.

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Irma Natalia Con Cuc knows how it feels to enter a classroom and not understand a word anyone says. Irma, a second grade teacher from Sacatapéquez, Guatemala, grew up speaking the region’s indigenous language, Kaqchikel. Like her students – and like so many of Guatemala’s Maya – she learned Spanish almost as an after thought, once she entered primary school.

From that experience, Irma learned a lot about overcoming adversity. She looks back on those days, almost wistfully, given the enormous challenges she faces in her current job. As a new teacher, Irma remembers struggling, every day, to help her students read. After all, many of the children had never before held a book in their hands and most lacked basic Spanish language skills.

Irma noted that when she first attempted to teach her second graders to read, “The kids didn’t pay much attention, so it was difficult to accomplish very much.”
Then CoEd’s Culture of Reading Program (CORP) came to her school and changed everything. Through CORP training, Irma learned how to engage the children in the learning process. Through the program, Irma has access to high-quality, engaging children’s books. She reads them to her class and encourages every child to participate in the story telling. She shows them the illustrations, asks them questions about what they think will happen next, and helps them write and illustrate their own books.
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Irma practices her classroom techniques during a day long workshop with CORP trainers.

“The CORP program is wonderful and so important to our students,” Irma enthuses. “It helps them learn so much more than before and they are more excited about their studies.” When asked how the program has changed the way Irma views her own role in the classroom, she muses, “I’m so glad I had the opportunity to be part of this program. Every day, I am excited to use what I’ve learned.”

 

Carolyn Johnson, Rotarian and founder of the CORP for the Cooperative for Education, also notes the difference she has witnessed in the lives of the teachers, children, and parents, in indigenous Mayan communities where she has conducted the CORP training.

 

“Parents are seeing that their children can read and are voluntarily sending in paper to the school so the kids can make more books. Kids get to school very early in the mornings just to go in their classrooms and read! It is exciting to hear in the teachers voices how much they believe CORP is making a difference in their kids’ learning.”