Posts Tagged ‘Culture of Reading’

Dora María Cardenas Figueroa: A Classroom Transformed

Friday, May 19th, 2017
Guatemalan primary school reading program

Dora María and her student Antony

Before the Culture of Reading Program (CORP) arrived at Agua Dulce school, Dora María’s classroom looked like most other first- and second-grade classrooms in rural Guatemala. There were no storybooks, just a whiteboard and some markers. Dora María used the teaching techniques she had learned while studying teaching in high school, which is all the training that is required of primary school teachers in Guatemala. “They would just copy and copy and copy,” she says.

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All Noe Wants Is a Hug

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

Noe-Cuxil-5x7

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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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.

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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
CoEd2015_GLP_Howard - 0998

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…)