Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Reader to Reader Key Part of Holyoke's Summer of Power


This summer, Reader to Reader was pleased to once again be part of Summer of Power (SoP) at Holyoke High School. SoP is a summer enrichment program that allows incoming ELL (English Language Learners) 9th graders to work on their English oral and written skills.


Ten Reader to Reader tutors hailing from UMass, Amherst College, Hampshire College, and Smith College assisted in the classrooms as students practiced their English, often through expressing their identities and values.

Over the five weeks of the program, it was wonderful establishing a rapport with the students and watching the friendships grow among them!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Young Readers Enjoy Books in Nicaragua


Young readers enjoy books donated by Reader to Reader to the Podcast for Peace project in Managua, Nicaragua.

One of the projects initially launched through Reader to Reader’s Springboard Program, Podcasts for Peace is a youth-focused community center that enriches the lives of over 400 young people.

About the Springboard Program

Reader to Reader's Springboard Program brings Five College students into the world of non-profit work through the development and implementation of their own international or domestic literacy project. This program guides students through the entire process, teaching them the skills necessary to lead their own literacy project and giving them unparalleled leadership opportunity.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Reader to Reader assists Amherst Summer Achievement Academy


As part of our Literacy Explorers program, Talia and Sam, two of our summer interns, spent time working with students in the Amherst Summer Achievement Academy at Crocker Farm Elementary School -- a program that offers a fun place for kids to sharpen skills environment and a great antidote to summer learning loss!

We worked with age groups from kindergarten to 5th grade to provide one-on-one and group reading support. Here, Sam and Talia read and discuss Roald Dahl's Matilda with 5th graders.

A special thanks to the Amherst Woman's Club and Amherst Regional Public Schools for making our participation possible

Friday, August 5, 2016

Computers on their way to Bolivian village


Two refurbished Dell Optiplex computers have begun their journey to Arani, Bolivia.  The computers will be used to teaching coding to teenagers living in the village.

The donation is part of Reader to Reader’s partnership with the KUSIKUY, a social enterprise business that is working to retail the alpaca fiber clothing crafted by the village’s knitters.

As part of the partnership, Reader to Reader is donating computers, Spanish-language children’s books, and a  collection of business marketing books that have been requested in order to help support the educational needs of local entrepreneurs.

At an altitude of 9,400 feet, the village of Arani is located in the center of Bolivia, and has a population of  3,512.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Reader to Reader supports Nigeria Reads


Dear Reader to Reader,

It's being a while I updated you on our progress. Many thanks for your kind support and donation of books to Nigeria Reads. Currently, we have kicked off literacy clubs within our libraries to engage users with the books and study materials and foster learning amongst peer groups after school hours.

Also, I will be visiting Maiduguri. In particular, Biu and Bama where they have IDP camps, to kick off our mobile libraries. I will need your support with a book donation for the IDP camps, potentially there are over 20,000 persons at the camp. I have planned to support the IDP camps with about 1,000 children books as most of the children are out of school to compliment their learning at the camp.

Thank you for your continuous support to Nigeria Reads and improving the literacy of Nigerians.

Kingsley Sintim,
Nigeria Reads


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

College Students Chart New Path for Beyond el Campo Project



For the seventh straight year, Reader to Reader’s Beyond el Campo team is spending the summer in the village of Santa Cruz, Costa Rica, helping strengthen and support the village’s public library.

The team is made up of four Amherst College students, who spend their days working on the infrastructure of the library and running literacy programs for the village’s children and adults.




Among the first infrastructure tasks they tackled this summer was the building of a concrete path to the library, and painting the library’s exterior.

About Beyond el Campo

Founded in 2009, Beyond el Campo established and supports 3-room public library with over 3,000 books, a computer lab, and a space for teens. The library serves the immediate community of over 2,000 people. 

The college-student-led project provides educational programming, including book groups, summer reading camps and after-school study support.

Beyond el Campo, a project of Reader to Reader's Springboard Program, seeks to combat the issue of educational inequality in Costa Rica by providing essential tools and educational resources to inspire success. Its goals are to provide a public space that serves as a community center for learning and creative engagement; to equip that space with resources that connect students with their own passions and interests; and to offer educational programs and workshops open to the entire community.



Friday, June 17, 2016

Athena Program Reaches Teen Moms

 
Summer truly feels like it's begun at Reader to Reader when we have our annual Athena Interactive Literacy Program, which connects teen mothers from Holyoke's Care Center with community partners to foster empowerment in different areas of their lives. During the year moms work towards their GED at the Care Center, an alternative education program which seeks to "help them grasp how powerful they are, give them the tools to learn and provide them with an exciting and engaging learning environment." These sentiments echo Reader to Reader's own attitudes in our global literacy efforts, and now in its seventh year, Athena is a weeklong program that builds skills to help these young families thrive and learn.

Nutritional literacy is a major component of Athena. Local chef Bill Collins kicks off mornings with breakfast and wraps up afternoons with lunch. Each meal is accompanied with discussions centered around grocery shopping on a budget, balancing the demands of preparing a meal with young children around, simple and quick but nutritious meals, and various cooking tips, tricks, and stories. The moms even get to try their hand at food prep and cooking throughout the week!


Between meals, a range of activities give the moms a chance to express their voices. One of our college interns led a spoken word poetry workshop and later in the week, we took a trip to Northfire Recording Studio for a recording session. This year's selection of poetry include themes of family, love, and motherhood. 

The week's other project, board book making, was filled with laughter, casual discussions, crafting fun, and sweetest of all, sharing baby and toddler photos.

In addition to exploring their creativity, the moms explored financial literacy with Florence Bank and children's book and writing for different audiences with Phantom Tollbooth author Norton Juster. 

It was a week of learning for all involved: the moms themselves, Reader to Reader staff and interns, and the community partners who so generously shared their time and knowledge with us. Fittingly, we closed the week out with a celebration at the Care Center which allowed other Center students and staff a glimpse of what we were up to all week. 

We are so grateful to have been able to spend Athena week with participating moms and we will continue to cheer them on in their aspirations!