Jul 31 2008

Reading their way out of poverty

In El Trompillo, Venezuela, a barrio north of Barquisimeto, a small group of young children has escaped the hot, dusty streets of their neighborhood to sit on the cool, cement floor of the CFCA office and hear Maria read a story about a goblin, ìEl Duende.î

Maria reads slowly and stops periodically to show them the pictures. The story is short. She finishes in several minutes. When she is through, she asks the children to use their imaginations and write their own story about a goblin.

Maria, 17, a CFCA scholarship student and sponsored member, helps out with the El Trompillo reading group every Saturday morning. The group was initiated by another scholarship student, Rodrigo, 19, to help the young students improve their reading skills. The reading group fulfills Rodrigoís and Mariaís service requirement for their scholarships, and it provides a valuable benefit to the community.

ìI think itís important for students to develop their reading skills,î Rodrigo said. ìIf you can read well, then you will succeed in school.î

One young student, Yerlianny, 9, proudly displays the story she has written along with a drawing of her goblin.

Here is Yerliannyís story:


The Goblin (El Duende)

ìThe goblin lives in a house. He is very loving. It is a marvelous house. He likes to play kickball. He won a large medal and a large beautiful cup. The medal is silver and the cup is silver and gold.î

Read more about the El Trompillo reading group and the scholarship students of Venezuela in our August Update newsletter.

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