Guatemala is a third world country with an illiteracy rate averaging 60%. The Guatemalan Literacy Project works to improve the education and quality of life of the children of Guatemala through fund-raising and staff development. To that end, four programs have been initiated— one for the donating of books, one aimed at assisting teachers, one hosting Guatemalan educators, and one supporting the establishment of the Guatemalan Reading Association.

Providing classroom books for use in Guatemala public school classes is an essential component of the Guatemalan Literacy Project. In the project's 17 year history, the Nassau Reading Council's primary fund-raising efforts have been to provide mini- libraries in Spanish for the children's use. All profits from the sale of Guatemalan handicrafts go towards the purchase of these books. As of September 2005, over 200 mini-libraries have been donated.
Many Guatemalan public school teachers begin their professional careers after completion of five years of high school with a specialty in education. The Guatemalan Literacy Project has satisfied the desire for continuing professional development. To that end, Nassau Reading Council volunteers travel to Guatemala twice a year, at their own expense, to present workshops to their Guatemalan colleagues.

Guatemalan educators from the public school sector visit Long Island to attend professional conferences, visit local school districts and meet with teachers, students and administrators to gain insight into current practices in U.S. education.


The Nassau Reading Council helped to establish the Guatemalan Reading Association in 1991. Since then, satellite councils have been established throughout Guatemala. Over 300 educators per month meet with their Guatemalan counterparts to share ideas on how to stimulate children's minds and imaginations and ultimately improve the level of literacy for the students. The success of the Guatemalan Literacy Project can be measured in many ways. One of the most obvious are the seven international literacy conferences that have been held in Guatemala City. At each conference, between 1,500-2,000 Guatemalan educators gathered to participate in workshops on the latest techniques and strategies in education. Presenters have traveled from the USA, Central and South America, Puerto Rico, and New Zealand to participate.
100% of the profits raised by the Nassau Reading Council is used to improve education for the children and teachers of Guatemala. All administrative services and materials are donated by volunteers. We appreciate any help you can offer, whether it is money, materials or supplies. Or, you may consider joining members of the Nassau Reading Council on a working trip to Guatemala and help present workshops for Guatemalan teachers. Your participation and contributions go very far in enriching the education and lives of both the teachers and children of Guatemala.

Please make checks payable to: Nassau Reading Council-Guatemalan Fund and return to:
Nassau Reading Council
c/o Marcia Mondschein, Project Director
8 Mayhill Lane
Dix Hills, NY 11746, USA
Phone: 631-643-9196
Fax: 631-643-4395

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