Posts Tagged ‘CORP’

All Noe Wants Is a Hug

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016


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?”


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


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.


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


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!
CoEd2013_GLP_Jenn_2621 (more…)

Keep her dream alive this holiday season #GivingTuesday

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

2015 Holiday Appeal

This summer, 17 year old Cindy Pinzón Sotz hurried home from her job as a housemaid to join her family in welcoming visitors.

She watched with her mother as her younger siblings, dressed in their crisp Chimazat School uniforms, led Cooperative for Education (CoEd) volunteers down the path to her home, and she smiled as the group chattered about the impressive computer demonstration they had just witnessed at the school and the beauty of the strawberry fields that surrounded them.

As we entered their humble dirt-floor dwelling, someone asked the kids what they wanted to be when they grew up. “We want to be teachers,” the middle school siblings enthusiastically agreed. “I want to be a doctor,” said Cindy’s youngest sister, still in primary school.

Cindy and her family

Cindy, center, with her siblings and mother outside their home in rural Guatemala.

Cindy remained silent, resting her hand on her mother’s shoulder. “I don’t know,” she replied softly when the question was finally directed to her. “I don’t really think about it.”

When Cindy dropped out of school between sixth and seventh grade, she didn’t just give up her education, she also gave up her hopes and dreams for a better future.


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…)

Friday Photo Fiesta #16: CORP schools from July’s Snapshot

Friday, August 22nd, 2014


This happy edition of Friday Photo Fiesta we want to share a few of the photos from the Culture of Reading Program schools we visited during the Summer Project Tours. We have such hopes for the kiddos at these schools and are excited by the changes we’ve seen in their learning environment already!

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The CORP teachers at El Sitio were grateful to have new bookcases to store their storybooks!

CoEd2014_JulySnap_Jenn - 4749

CORP forms engaged students who are eager to learn!

Guatemalan student (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.

regular09_Shaye 210

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.

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.”


Friday Photo Fiesta #14: Summer Reading Fun

Friday, June 27th, 2014

fridayphotofiesta_600Aah, the lazy days of summer. We don’t know about you, but summer always makes us think of lots of free time to get lost in books. Since local libraries are starting their summer reading programs this month, we wanted to share with you some of the things we love about reading in Guatemala for this edition of Friday Photo Fiesta!

Boys reading at El Caman

You can read literally anywhere – just flip a desk over, and pull up a pillow and enjoy!

Minor reading to his students.

Many teachers in Guatemala are amazed to see what happens when they get the kids out of their desks and gather them in close for story time.