When we met Denia, we were once again convinced of the power of reading in the lives of children in rural Nicaragua. Soon after we sat down with her, she told us that her passion is reading and that she dreams of becoming a teacher.
Denia is 11 years old and is a beneficiary of the educational enrichment program offered by Fabretto at the San José de Cusmapa Education Center. Through reading clubs implemented at the Center, students like Denia are able to cultivate a love of reading. She explains that what she likes most about the Center is being a part of LitClub, a literacy program sponsored by LitWorld. “Sometimes, as members of the club, we go to other communities to teach and read stories to other children. Before, I was embarrassed to read in front of these children, but now I have gained a lot of confidence.” At only 11, Denia is already practicing to become a teacher.
The future teacher’s family lives on agriculture in one of Nicaragua’s most isolated, at-risk communities, where children have to travel long distances to get to school. Here, reading habits among the population are almost nonexistent. Most homes, as is the case in Denia’s, do not have books, due to economic limitations and a lack of access to public libraries. In schools, it is very common to see two or three children sharing the same textbook. Through Fabretto education programs, hundreds of children like Denia benefit from a trained teacher and a wide range of books to help them develop strong literacy skills. Denia is sure that she will be the first of her family to go to college. Her passion for reading is opening doors for her to fulfill her dream of becoming a teacher.
Today, on International Book Day we remember the countless benefits of reading for the personal development and growth of children. When children read books, they improve their vocabulary and spelling, they learn to intuitively recognize rules of sentence construction, their imagination is awakened, they learn to concentrate, and they even learn about values through stories. Beginning to observe, feel, and listen to story books from an early age can determine their future forever.
In 2016, only 34% of children between 1st and 3rd grade in Fabretto’s enrichment program began the school year at the expected reading level for their grade. Thanks to Fabretto’s rigorous efforts to promote reading both inside and outside the classroom through reading clubs, LitClubs, reading corners, mobile libraries (e.g. the donkey-powered library), and activities with parents, this number increased to 65% by the end of the school year.
Denia is aware of her progress; “I used to stutter when I read out loud, but now I read fluently.” She also enjoys analyzing the stories she reads and sharing her thoughts with her classmates.
Thanks to partnerships with organizations like LitWorld, Fabretto is taking literacy to the most remote communities. Our commitment is to continue to promote reading with those who are deprived of access to quality education. Books will be the doors that open a better future for them.
If you would like to support Fabretto’s reading programs, donate today.