A New Model of Collaboration: Partnership Coordinator Conference

Shooting stars to Mentor Mainor at the first-ever PCC.

Shooting stars to Mentor Mainor at the first-ever PCC.

LitWorld coordinated and hosted its first-ever Latin American Partnership Coordinator Conference at the beginning of October in Colombia, as part of our ongoing efforts to deepen the connection between partners and provide opportunities for learning across organizations. Currently, LitWorld has seven partnerships in Spanish-speaking Latin America: two in Colombia, two in Nicaragua, and one each in the Dominican Republic, Peru, and Honduras.  

The Partnership Coordinator Conference (PCC) served as a powerful tool to strengthen the LitWorld community. It provided training to the Partnership Coordinators and a mentor from each attending organization, a space for each partner to share their own work and expertise, and a forum where organizations could learn from one another’s experience.

Each day began with a unique community-building activity and was followed by a series of trainings. These included modules on the role of a Partnership Coordinator, key components of mentorship, setting goals as leaders and in programming, techniques to lead training workshops, using visual art as a storytelling tool, how to cultivate mentors as storytellers, techniques for reading aloud, and strategies for creating their own stories to supplement their program libraries. Each partner also had an hour scheduled during the week to share their organization’s work, expertise, and history, as well as a programming activity that could be shared across all organizations.

We received some amazing feedback from our coordinators that show the powerful, magical outcomes of the week:

“It was a wonderful meeting of learning, collaboration, fun, companionship, and shared dreams.”
“I would like to have this type of meeting more regularly since one can grow even more. Thanks for such a good and great opportunity, thanks on behalf of all those children who we help grow in a different world.”
“We are a stronger network of cooperative work, with new reasons to continue.”
“We learned that we are a network, that we can achieve many things if we are united, learned many tips for the organization, new strategies for reading aloud, group dynamics and how to develop story writing.”
“We learned that we are doing great work as an institution...from now on we feel more capable and have more ideas to continue our LitClub.”

We look forward to doing this conference again in the various regions in which we work in order to deepen institutional knowledge and build a stronger LitWorld community!

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A Moment of Serious Joy

Story Summit at Nigeria Reads/YiSHDA

Story Summit at Nigeria Reads/YiSHDA

Joyce, Partnership Coordinator in Nigeria with Nigeria Reads/YiSHDA, shared a reflection from a LitClub Mentor training:

During the training/meeting, mentors shared their experiences with everyone and it was really motivating. Mentor Comfort expressed how being a LitClub mentor has helped her do things and speak out for her girls, the way she ordinarily would not do.

Reading Aloud -- A Special LitWorld Tradition

Dorothy Lee reads "Beekle."

Dorothy Lee reads "Beekle."

We have a special tradition here at LitWorld. New members of our staff are warmly welcomed by gathering together to share readings chosen by the team. This week, at our Staff Meeting, our Executive Director Dorothy Lee read aloud a team favorite, "The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend." We also heard a passage from "The Little Prince," an excerpt from an article on the science of cooking, and a poem from Naomi Shihab Nye.

We chose readings that connected us to each other. Each reading is different and each reader makes it her own. A story might make us laugh, an article might teach us something new. We all felt the power of reading aloud. We felt the power of our work.

It was a poignant reminder, all together in our office, that we learn and grow from reading together, as a classroom, as a family, as a staff, as a community. 

LitWorld Becomes Famous in Cote d’Ivoire

Confident young readers at LitClub at Education and English for You.

Confident young readers at LitClub at Education and English for You.

Written by Toti Jean-Marc Yalé, Partnership Coordinator at Education and English for You, Cote d'Ivoire

Born in a poor family of seven children, my childhood was very difficult, especially because we did not have the resources to help me with my physical disability. 

At an early age, I left my parents’ home to move to another place where the primary school was a bit closer. When I came back home during the holidays, the best advice that my father gave me was to have courage--one of the 7 Strengths of the curriculum of LitWorld. This advice helped me a lot to overcome many challenges because I often had to walk at least five kilometers to go school despite my disability.

But I didn’t give up. I moved on to university and after my graduation there, I created an organization that gave me the privilege of working with LitWorld, one of the best organizations that is building a new generation of people throughout the world based on the 7 Strengths: Belonging that deals with the promotion of unity; Curiosity to incite the spirit of exploration and discovery; Friendship to promote the peace; Kindness to foster philanthropy in the world; Confidence to banish the fear; Courage to fight against the challenges; and Hope to guarantee the success.

These 7 Strengths are helping the kids of our community, especially the girls, and they are making the word “LitWorld” popular here. The kids talk about LitWorld at home and some of their parents have come to me wanting to know more about what we do. 

Beyond that, through the different LitClubs, LitWorld is building the great leaders of tomorrow. I have been astonished by the great work done by the LitClub members. At the end of each month, the U.S Embassy in Cote d’Ivoire organizes a program for children called Panel to celebrate the books being read by children. During the celebration of Martin Luther King Day where many schools were in attendance, our kids were the best and showed that their literacy skills are impressive. After reading the book at home, our LitClub members showed their reading comprehension--they did not use any paper to explain the content of the book. They read and also quoted the references precisely without making any mistakes. They thoughtfully responded to the other participants.

Afterwards, when many leaders of other local organizations approached me and expressed their desire to bring LitClub to their communities, I knew that the LitClubs were really making an impact. Thank you, LitWorld.
 

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An Exciting Announcement About World Read Aloud Day 2018

We are thrilled to announce a special new collaboration with Scholastic for World Read Aloud Day, celebrating the Harry Potter stories.

World Read Aloud Day 2018 will take place on February 1 so that we can spread the pleasure of reading aloud alongside Harry Potter Book Night, when fans around the world celebrate J.K. Rowling's much-loved book series.

2018 will mark the 20th anniversary of the US publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and we are so excited to celebrate the impact that Hogwarts and the Harry Potter stories continue to have on the way the whole world engages with reading.  Over the past 20 years, classrooms and families have enjoyed reading Harry Potter aloud and have shared a special bond around this ever popular series.

Please help us spread the word by joining the conversation on social media using #WorldReadAloudDay and be sure to sign-up for WRAD 2018. (If you have already registered once, you do not need to do it again! You’re all set.)

We'd love to hear from you. Contact us with any questions, concerns, or excitement!

World Read Aloud Day 2017

World Read Aloud Day 2017