Improving Children’s Literacy Skills in Latin America
We believe every child has the right to quality education yet in Latin America and the Caribbean there are 512 million children and adolescents out of the education system.
As a response to the vital need for Latin American children to have access to books at home and literacy support, the World Literacy Foundation has been implementing Aprende Leyendo since 2014.
This literacy program focuses on children from 4 to 14 years living in disadvantaged communities in Colombia where 41, 411 children and adolescents have been affected by the war, being the rural children the most affected. To close the gap between urban and rural areas and build sustainable peace in Colombia, we need to create an inclusive and equal education system.
Ten-year-old Esther’s big brown eyes light up as she talks about the Aprendo Leyendo program. “I enjoy coming every week because Miss Paulina teaches us to read and write!” she says enthusiastically.
In many ways, Esther is like most young girls. She loves wearing pink clothes and the fantasy of fairy tales and unicorns. But her life isn’t easy. She lives with 15 family members in a small bamboo and concrete house in the humble neighborhood of El Carmen in Manizales, Colombia. Three generations cram the two-level home, and the rooms are divided by curtains instead of walls.
Esther and her four siblings are raised by her single mother. Her 60-year-old mom, Melinda, works Monday to Saturday cleaning houses to provide the basics for her family. Despite all, her family is close and makes the best of things because they have no choice.
Esther is in third grade and goes to a public school. Although it’s funded by the government, resources are very limited, and the quality of education is extremely low. Though the school’s been closed for months now due to COVID-19.
Luckily, Esther’s been able to keep attending the Aprende Leyendo program every week since she was six with her younger brother, Angel Fabian. The program has been a vital resource to keep them learning during the school shutdowns. Program Manager, Paula Correa, helped set up the reading room at a local community hub in 2014 to give disadvantaged children access to books, mentoring and help improve their reading.
Like many other children facing poverty and hardship in Colombia, Esther had no books at home. Aprende Leyendo and the World Literacy Foundation donated food, clothes, and books to her family, so now Esther can read at home too. Esther wants to be a policewoman when she grows up to take care of people in her community. We think her dream will come true because the gift of literacy opens endless possibilities for children in need. Thanks to your support we can help disadvantaged children in Latin America by providing them with quality educational resources and support to change their futures and break their cycle of poverty.
By giving the gift of literacy today, you are empowering a child with reading and writing skills needed to succeed at school and beyond.
Dingo App is a digital learning tool that develops and enhances the literacy skills of children in both; Spanish and English.
We are bringing together innovative technology, e-books, games, and locally-curated content to advance the learning of children aged 4-10 years who have limited or no access to education, internet and technology.
We are committed to promoting prosperity while protecting the planet. The educational content included on our literacy app is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals.