Dominican DREAM celebrates long-time LitClubs and LitKids 🙌🏽

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The LitClubs at the DREAM Project in the Dominican Republic have been busy with graduations and end of the year celebrations! As May came to an end, LitClubs like “Fuertes Heroínas” - the “Strong Heroines” - celebrated being together for nearly a year and 7 month! The Graduation party was full of laughter, but also tears as the girls get ready to move on to the next grade, while still planning to stay connected to each other and DREAM as they get older.

One of the LitKids graduating is Lisbeth Dippiton Zaie, who was excited to share her feelings on being in a LitClub with everyone. Lisbeth shares:

I belong to a LitClub. I feel great about being in this group, because I have learned new things every day.
For example, of all the strengths, I identify with them all. My favorite is Curiosity, because with Curiosity we can discover, ask about things we don’t know, and of course learn.

Strengths I identify myself with:

-friendship: I have a lot of friends and I like to share with them.
-courage: I don’t get scared of standing in front of a lot of people and speaking
- belonging: I know I have a place and I belong to my LitClub
-hope: it’s hard for me to lose hope in myself and my peers
-curiosity: I like to ask a lot of questions and know things
— Lisbeth
Go Lisbeth! 💫

Go Lisbeth! 💫

All my favorite Strengths ❤️

All my favorite Strengths ❤️

During their graduation parties, LitKids each got to take three books home and share all their favorite memories of being in LitClubs. The older LitClub graduates were able to assist the DREAM mentors with all activities and take part in organizing the celebrations for the younger students. Many of them look forward to continuing to support DREAM programs in the future. As always, shooting stars to all! 💫

Congratulations to all readers, artists, writers and everyone creating every day!

Congratulations to all readers, artists, writers and everyone creating every day!

Celebrating Day of the Book in Nicaragua

“Books don’t just go with you, they take you where you’ve never been.”

Who is YOUR favorite book character?

Who is YOUR favorite book character?

What better excuse to open up your old favorite books or dress up as your favorite character than a Day of the Book celebration?

We wish Day of the Book was every day 💖

We wish Day of the Book was every day 💖

On April 23rd, that is exactly what the LitWorld partner organization, Fabretto, in Nicaragua did! Multiple Fabretto centers spent the day celebrating the power of reading through organized activities for children, mentors, parents and community members alike.

In Cusmapa, reading spaces were organized in the library and preschool children, older students and teachers were invited to enjoy read-alouds as well as silent readings. In other communities, LitClub members dedicated spaces to reflect on the importance of the book, promote creative writing of poems and letters dedicated to reading and even carried out a campaign to repair books in poor condition. They showed immense love and care for the books and spent long hours carefully mending books that needed a little extra care.

In the Ocotal community, the LitKids, LitMoms and mentors organized a field trip to a farm to spend time outside reading and talking!

In the Ocotal community, the LitKids, LitMoms and mentors organized a field trip to a farm to spend time outside reading and talking!

Some other incredible activities that were carried out were - a Book Fair in celebration of Book Day, a reading marathon, games like “Who can read more words per minute?” and others. Fabretto staff report that LitClub members were instrumental in leading these activities with the support of local librarians and their mentors.

According to another Fabretto mentor, it is important to note that the impact of this day was not only on the children but also had a huge effect on their parents. Motivated mothers took a leading role in the activities and vowed to continue promoting the care and importance of books and reading in their families and communities in the future. It was a beautiful day for all and a valuable reminder to the power, importance and need for reading in our daily lives. After all - you can’t buy happiness, but you can buy books…. and that’s kind of the same thing! 💫

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Growing Environmental Awareness in Honduras 🌏

Creating is always more fun together!

Creating is always more fun together!

“The day began with a small presentation for the groups and participants, who would be a part of this day. The presentation worked to connect with the children and adults in the room to raise the environmental awareness and find out their reflections on environmental damage in their communities. “ says Gerson Gonzales, the Partnership Coordinator for Un Mundo, LitWorld’s partner organization in Honduras.

Un Mundo, a well-established, grassroots organization, does diverse work in the local communities and the issue of environmental change and protection has been one of the topics they’ve worked on for some time now. This spring they are hosting a regional story contest in 9 communities to raise awareness of the protection of the land and draw attention to the correct and sustainable management of resources. This story contest, named “Voces de la Madre Tierra” or “Voices of Mother Earth” includes LitClub members writing stories about the environment and why the Earth is important to them. At the end of the contest the winners will be assembled into a book compilation and shared throughout the communities.

Workshop conversation at Un Mundo

Workshop conversation at Un Mundo

However, this environmental programming is only one part of the various and important initiatives led by Un Mundo.

Another incredible mentor training and workshop run by the organization in April focused on informed approach to programs for people with various physical and mental disabilities, as well as disaster management in the situation of a natural disaster in the region, for example a hurricane.

Proud LitClub member!

Proud LitClub member!

Volunteer mentors learned how to deal with emergency situations in their communities, best practices for evacuations and assistance for people with disabilities with the emphasis on integrity and understanding of these circumstances.

Gerson shares that, “the workshop consisted of practically two parts, a theoretical one in which many misconceptions were clarified, and we discussed how irreverent it tends to be to use them. The second is the practical part in which we understand and put into practice techniques to address people with disabilities the best.'“

LitWorld continues to be astonished and proud of being able to partner with organizations like Un Mundo, that do life changing work around the world! 💫💫💫

Palestinian LitClub Readers Win Big!

Today’s story comes from the Palestinian Initiative for Supporting Students (ESNAD.) LitWorld has partnered with ESNAD since early 2018, and their literacy initiatives have grown by leaps and bounds. The story of their growth truly embodies LitWorlds "self, community, world" approach to change. They started by addressing the individual needs of their kids, and have grown to affect change at a global level. From a storytelling workshop to an international reading competition, ESNAD inspires us with their ability to speak power to practice. 

Girls participating in the Reading Event.

Girls participating in the Reading Event.

After collaborating on which reading activities ESNAD should conduct with their LitClubs, ESNAD led a reading and storytelling event with 30 girls from Nour El Hoda Applied Girls School. The Palestinian writer Ibtisam Barakat was a part of this event and discussed the importance of reading, writing, and how those tools had helped her understand her heritage. Reading pushed Barakat to become a writer, and she has authored many novels and historical books that share her story, her voice, and reflect Palestinian history. The importance of personal story and heritage resonated deeply with the LitClub girls. They felt seen, and grew a new appreciation for the power of their voice to share their story, and, by doing so, share the story of their community. 

The LitClub love of reading was not restricted to inside school walls. Two weeks ago, LitClub girls from Nour El Hoda won the first prize at the national level for the Arab Reading Challenge. They now go on to compete at a regional level with schools and students from around the world. What started as a way to encourage girls to keep reading grew into a profound win for ESNAD, Nour El Hoda, and the global LitWorld movement. 

Shooting stars to LitKids in Palestine and all the LitKids around the world working hard to read, write, and share their stories!

Congratulations to these young leaders on their reading win!

Congratulations to these young leaders on their reading win!

We All Write Poems

It has been a sweltering few months for the LitClubs of Centre for Development, located in Ahmedabad, India! “With temperatures raising as high as an average 100 degrees Fahrenheit (or 38 °C), it is difficult to keep everyone motivated and moving during the day”, reports one of the organization’s Partnership Coordinators, Prasad Chacko.

But, despite the heat and humidity, LitKids are not only attending the regular meetings, where they regularly read, write, and create, but they have also been busy exploring another kind of self-expression - poetry! The clubs worked on group poems that centered around their own LitWorld experiences as well as people who are important to them. One of the CfD clubs, the Moon Club writes:

“We are children of the LitClub Moon,
We sing the Hello Song as we meet in the LitClub
We listen to stories during Read Aloud
And share those stories with others too..
We do community activities together,
We are the children of the LitClub Moon,
We learn about the 7 strengths,
And are strengthened ourselves
Belongingness and Kindness,
Curiosity and friendship
Gained courage and confidence
And nurtured Hope in our future
We are children of the LitClub Moon”
The power of singing with friends 💛

The power of singing with friends 💛

Another club, the Tulip Club wrote a poem about their moms! It is called “Mother

My loving Mother
She loves me every day
She always has a smile on her face
She gently teaches me so many things in life
She kindles hope in me, fulfils my dreams
She always has a smile on her face
My loving Mother”

We are sending lots of congratulations to these young poets and writers for exploring their hearts and writing down their feelings. Keep writing, keep exploring and as always - shooting stars to all! 💫💫💫