Update on the Global Read Aloud Gives Back 2016

2016 marked several milestones for the Global read Aloud; we had more than 1,000,000 students participate and we created The Global Read Aloud Gives Back as a way for students to do service learning.  The very first non-profit we chose to give back to was Palms & Souls, a micro non-profit that focuses on sustaining a communicty center in Jocotenango called the El Buen Samaritano Community Center.  One of the major needs was for books for the sixtythree kids that regularly use the community center and we thought this was a perfect mission for the Global Read Aloud community.

Throughout our six weeks, students raised money for the book drive and in order for a small library to be built at the community center.  I am now so happy to reveal how it went as Reidun and Ryan Bures just returned from their trip.  So how did we do?

As Reidun wrote in her newsletter:

“On March 31, students entered the El Buen Samaritano library for the first time. Initially, they went towards the chairs in the corner and just looked with wide eyes. But once Ryan said “You can touch them,” the floodgates opened. There was pointing, sharing, touching, and READING. Little hands grasped onto brand-new covers and the smiles were endless. Some students even hugged the books. It looked like they had never seen so many books in one place. Honestly, I’m not sure if many of them had ever seen a new book before. This brought tears to my eyes, not only because I knew these stories were going to be educationally and emotionally empowering to these students, but I also knew that each of these books contained such a tangible expression of your long-distance love. These books were sent from schools all across the world, from our family, friends, and strangers. They were sent with notes from the University of Wisconsin medical students, and from friends in Florida and Georgia. Words can’t describe the power of that moment. We have been motivated by believing in the potential of these 958 books to truly impact our 63 kids, and it is so gratifying to see it come to fruition. So we thank you, from the bottom of our hearts. Your gift has provided these kids with an invaluable tool for enhancing their academic achievement while opening their minds to the innumerable joys of literature.  “

And what does this look like?  Here are a few images from their trip, see if you can spot your favorite books.

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Thank you to each and everyone one of you for making a difference in the lives of these 63 children.

 

GRA Gives Back – Meet Estephania #GRA16

With the news that over $2,000 worth of books have been purchased so far for the community center El Buen Samaritano we are so grateful for the Global read Aloud.  From penny drives to business days, we love what so many kids are doing to support this community center and truly make a difference in the lives of these 60 kids.

Every week, we will feature one of the children that the GRA Gives Back campaign is trying to help with its partnership with Palms & Souls.  We hope that these stories will show you the very real impact that our project can have for these children in Guatemala.  If you missed the partnership announcement or need ideas for how you can help, please see this post. 

 

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Hi! My name is Esthephania A. Luis Quintanilla.

Age: 9 years

Grade: 2nd

What I like most about school:  I like learning in all the classes.

Favorite books: Sleeping Beauty or stories in English

Future Job: International Chef

Favorite Sport or Pastime: Basketball.

What I like to do most: Play with my friends.

What I like most of the El Buen Samaritano: Spending time with the volunteers.

Esthephania can’t wait to have books at the community center! Her dream is to travel the world and eat food from different places, so she would love books that are set in different countries.

All the students are counting down the days until the books arrive. The support so far has been amazing! You are flooding this community with love and hope through your book donations! Thank you so much.

GRA Gives Back – Meet Ricardo #gra16

With the news that over $2,000 worth of books have been purchased so far for the community center El Buen Samaritano we are so grateful for the Global read Aloud.  From penny drives to business days, we love what so many kids are doing to support this community center and truly make a difference in the lives of these 60 kids.

Every week, we will feature one of the children that the GRA Gives Back campaign is trying to help with its partnership with Palms & Souls.  We hope that these stories will show you the very real impact that our project can have for these children in Guatemala.  If you missed the partnership announcement or need ideas for how you can help, please see this post. 

Hi, my name is Marlon Ricardo López.

Age: 10 years

Grade: 4th

What I like most about school: Free time to play with my friends!

Favorite books: Histories and legends

Future Job: Architect

Favorite pastime: Soccer

What I like most of the El Buen Samaritano: Reading legends with the volunteers.

Ricardo and his family

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Ricardo’s family all live together in this room.

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The alley that connects Ricardo’s family’s room to other families’ rooms.

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Ricardo’s whole family shares a one-bedroom apartment. They sleep together on the two beds and cook on a camp stove in the corner of the room. Ricardo’s youngest brother has lung problems which are irritated by the smoke from their stove. We asked Ricardo’s parents about their hopes and dreams for their children, and they both responded “We want opportunities for them to continue their education and go to University. If they don’t, they will probably have the same life as they do now.”

Ricardo loves to learn and is hoping for books about history or myths. He and his brothers also love soccer and would enjoy reading about sports. By purchasing books you are helping Ricardo’s parents give these kids a chance at a different life. He is so lucky to have a supportive mother and father at home; many kids don’t. Thank you so much for believing in Ricardo and participating in this book drive!  

Global Read Aloud Gives Back – Meet Fernanda #GRA16

Every week, we will feature one of the children that the GRA Gives Back campaign is trying to help with its partnership with Palms & Souls.  We hope that these stories will show you the very real impact that our project can have for these children in Guatemala.  If you missed the partnership announcement or need ideas for how you can help,please see this post. 

Meet Fernanda!

Hi, my name is  Fernanda Abigail Luis Quintanilla.

Age: 10 years

Grade: 4th

What I like most about school: Playing with friends.

Favorite books: Stories of princesses

Future Job: Secretary

Favorite pastime: Soccer

What I like most of the El Buen Samaritano: Being with Mr. Magda and the volunteers.

Fernanda with her family at home

Fernanda with her family at home

Fernanda in her kitchen

Fernanda in her kitchen

Fernanda is hoping for princess and fantasy books to read herself and with her sisters. Your donation will directly impact all three girls. Thank you so much for caring about these kids.

GRA Gives Back – Meet Dulce #GRA16

Every week, we will feature one of the children that the GRA Gives Back campaign is trying to help with its partnership with Palms & Souls.  We hope that these stories will show you the very real impact that our project can have for these children in Guatemala.  If you missed the partnership announcement or need ideas for how you can help, please see this post. 

Meet Dulce!

Hi, my name is  Katherine Dulce María Castellanos Martínez.

Age: 12 years

Grade: 6th

What I like most about school: Music classes

Favorite Book: I love all books and stories.

Future Job: Teacher

Favorite sport or pastime: Reading and helping with the smaller children

What I like to do most: Reading stories to other students at the center.

What I like most of the El Buen Samaritano: I like everything, but especially the volunteers!

Dulce is really hoping for books to read to the smaller children at El Buen Samaritano. She is a great helper and loves to tutor younger students in the afternoon.

We can’t thank you enough for supporting this project!

GRA Gives Back: Meet Jeferson #GRA16

Every week, we will feature one of the children that the GRA Gives Back campaign is trying to help with its partnership with Palms & Souls.  We hope that these stories will show you the very real impact that our project can have for these children in Guatemala.  If you missed the partnership announcement or need ideas for how you can help, please see this post.  

Jeferson at El Buen Samaritano Community Center

 

 

 

Jeferson at El Buen Samaritano Community Center

 

 

Hi, My name is Jeferson Ariel Enrique Castellanos Martínez.

Age: 8 years

Grade: 2nd

Favorite Book: I like a lot of different books

What I like most about school: Spending free time with friends

Future job: Police

Favorite pastime: Soccer

What I like to do most: Playing sports with my friends

What I like most of the El Buen Samaritano: Being with the fun volunteers and Mr.

Magda, the classes, and food

Jeferson and his brother at home

Jeferson and his brother at home

Jeferson's sister in his kitchen at home

Jeferson’s sister in his kitchen at home

Jeferson's home­­­­

 

Jeferson’s home­­­­

Jeferson is so excited about the potential of having a library at the community center. He

likes to read, but doesn’t get an opportunity to read books very often. He is usually limited

to one page stories printed off the internet. This book drive could be a life-changer for

him. Thank you for believing and investing in Jeferson!

To see the book drive, go here.