A few years ago I began hearing from retired educators about a program called Child Aid and the projects that they were helping with in Guatemala. As a retired teacher/Title I coordinator and reading consultant for the state of Oregon, I was well aware of the importance of a thorough training program for teachers in reading instruction for children.
This last year I was able to be a part of the team that went down to help one of the schools that Child Aid is supporting with training for teachers and books for children!
As part of a team that painted a village school, I was able to see, firsthand, the minimal supplies that teachers in the Guatemalan schools have. I was reminded of a school in Tanzania, Africa where I spent a month supporting and training teachers, only the teachers in this Guatemalan school had even fewer materials to use! For that reason, it was pure joy to visit the headquarters of the organization and see the cases of books that were to soon to be available to these teachers and students!
It was, however, even more thrilling to have the chance to meet with the training team and see the well organized objectives and lessons and the passion of these trainers!
I have had the opportunity to teach many reading classes to teachers throughout the USA, and the thoroughness of the training plans and the ongoing support to the teachers and schools that I saw on this visit convinced me that this is a program that I must continue to support! I might add that the group that I was with was made up of mostly former educators, too. It was their encouragement and enthusiasm for this program that caused me to take an interest in Child Aid!
I am most grateful for having had the chance to see the quality of training that is provided to the teachers of Guatemala through Child Aid and look forward to further involvement with them.
I'm the leader of a group of Senior Citizens who have had the privilege of working with Child-Aid in Guatemala a for the past seven years. Child-Aid is a small organization, home-based in Portland, Oregon, but it is making a dramatic impact on the lives pf many children in Guatemala through the literacy and other programs that it runs. The role of our
group has been to go to Guatemala on an annual basis, spend one or two weeks painting and doing repairs on one of the elementary schools. It is very gratifying work, knowing that we can accomplish so much, and add a 'bright spot' to the lives of so many people. We make life-long friendships with the teachers and on-site staff members while we are
there, as well as with the school children and their parents. This year we had 18 team-members, each paying their own way for transportation, lodging and materials, so it makes for a very cost-effective endeavor. The way to gauge our success? In our first year of doing this - seven years ago -- we had 12 members on our trip. Without 'advertising' for
new member - just 'word-of-mouth' - this year we had 18 members, all of whom are excited about going back again in November of this year. A wonderful experience for members of out group, and a real blessing to work with Child-Aid, an organization is doing so much to help the children in Guatemala!
I was a member of a 16 member team that went to Guatemala under the auspices of Child-Aid -- two trips so far, one in 2009 and the other in 2010. Child-Aid's main purpose for many years has been to deliver books in the Spanish language to the children of Guatemala. We were the first group that has gone to Guatemala with Child-Aid for the purpose of refurbishing an elementary school, (painting, electrical, plumbing, etc.) While there, we had the opportunity to observe the high-quality of training that Child-Aid is providing to the teachers, which in turn will great improve the quality of learning. It is amazing to see the impact that a relatively small organization can have on the education system of an entire country! I have become deeply impressed with the quality of the administrative staff of Child-Aid, in Portland, Oregon, as well as the on-site staff in Guatemala. We are looking forward to returning to Guatemala in 2011, to continue our work with this outstanding organization.
Review from CharityNavigator
My wife and I were part of the 16 member team that catalogued books and painted the inside and outside of a school in 2009 and 2010. We saw how teacher training has helped instruction. We noticed the enthusiasm of children who voluntarily attended a reading program during their vacation time. We were impressed by how the community became involved in the improvement of their children's education. We were very impressed by the Guatemalan teachers trained by Child-Aid and by the entire staff of the organization in Guatemala and in Portland, Oregon.
Review from CharityNavigator
I was a member of 16 person volunteer team who, in November of 2010, had the opportunity to work in and observe in a Guatemalan village school in which Child Aid has been working for improved children's literacy. Although the school was then on vacation, The Child Aid program, 'adventures in reading' was underway. We had the opportunity to see a reading program which excited and interested the children. The children were excited to have reading material, which was not available before. The teachers have been trained by Child Aid to conduct the lessons in an active and open environment which seems to encourage participation. I have learned that in much of Latin America there is NO emphasis in school to learn to read for pleasure, partly because there is usually no pleasure reading material available. It looks to me that through the work of Child Aid, some children are getting a new message about the power of reading. I was amazed at the number of village children who voluntarily attended the classes.
Review from CharityNavigator