Guatemala Literacy Project
Guatemala Literacy Project (GLP) is an initiative to provide greatly needed textbooks, teacher training, and computer centers to underprivileged children in Guatemala. The Rotary Club of Summit County is the lead club on a 2014 Rotary Global Grant. In our Colorado Rotary District 5450, a total of 10 clubs are contributing $18,000. With matching Rotary International funding this money grows to over $55,000. Add an additional 80+ clubs throughout North America and the Caribbean, this annual grant is topping out over $300,000. International projects account for roughly 10% of our Rotary Club of Summit County charitable budget.
Since 1998, the Guatemala Literacy Project (GLP) has been supported by over 400 Rotary Clubs in 60 plus Districts. “It’s not just about giving books away. It’s about empowering the local people to take charge of their future. The idea that Rotary buys the first set of textbooks, then the parents buy the next, is a perfect model of a sustainable and community-driven Rotary project,” said Jeff McElhattan of the Rotary Club of Summit County, a participant on the 2013 GLP project tour.
Sustainability is mandatory. Every program participant “rents” four books for a small fee (about $1.50 a month). All fees collected go into a fund managed by Rotary's partner organization, Cooperative for Education (CoEd). After five years, enough money has accrued to replace the books. Once the GLP makes the initial investment, each Textbook Program becomes 100% self-sustaining. The GLP customizes the revolving fund to suit each community’s unique circumstances, with impressive results: 96% of schools that have had a Textbook Program for more than five years have renewed their books through the revolving fund. The same model is used in the Computer Program.
The GLPs programs have been brought to over 220 impoverished rural communities. There are over 25,000 students using textbooks at 185 schools. The GLP has also founded 54 self-funding computer centers, 25 literacy programs, and 49 school libraries. The project already serves 10% of the country’s neediest secondary schools and is working with the goal of ensuring that no child in Guatemala grows up without the gift of both traditional and technological literacy.
Won’t you join us in Guatemala next year?
The Rotary Club of Summit County is proud to be the Global Grant Sponsor for the GLP in 2015. If you are passionate about providing quality education for children in developing nations, please consider making a tax deductible donation to this project.