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! 💫💫💫

KindBoys thrive in Cameroon 🌟

Kind Boys in Cameroon

Kind Boys in Cameroon

“I joined LitClub in September 2017 following an invitation from a close friend who was part of the LitClub. He told me of the interesting activities they carried out in the LitClub and how enjoyable it was to be part of it. I decided to accompany him on one of the meeting days. “ says 13 year old Ryan Stephane, member of the Kind Boys LitClub at Vision for Education and Development in Cameroon.

Ryan and the other boys of the “Kind Boys” club have been meeting weekly with their mentors and continuing on growing various skills through activities centered around the LitWorld 7 Strengths. They recently partcitipated in an “One Minute Interview” activity, where they practiced interview questions and answers with each other. The local Partnership Coordinator, Fideline Mboringong, reports: “The boys went home smiling as they acted like journalists. “

Practicing your handshake for those future interviews!

Practicing your handshake for those future interviews!

The mentors continue to see positive change in the boys’ behavior after each week of LitClubs. As another LitClub member, Karl Sedney, put it: “Before joining the LitClub, I used to be very shy and had difficulties in expressing myself. I lacked courage in facing crowds and I could not speak even in class. I was so shy even when I was amongst my peers and classmates. Ever since I joined the LitClub, through the lessons on the strengths of courage and confidence, I have finally gained the courage and confidence that I lacked at first and can now express myself very freely and without fear.

I am no longer shy to face crowds and I have learned to be bold, courageous and have confidence in myself that I can do whatever it is that I am required to do. I am now able to do things that I could not do at first like talking freely in class, facing my peers and expressing myself.”

As always, LitWorld is thrilled to be a part of these young men’s stories. Together, we can continue to inspire each other to be the best we can be, one Read Aloud at a time!

All smiles with mentor Herman and the boys during the weekly Check-in Question.

All smiles with mentor Herman and the boys during the weekly Check-in Question.

Graduations and Goodbyes in Pakistan

Mentor Ms. Anila giving a Certificate of Completion to a proud LitMom

Mentor Ms. Anila giving a Certificate of Completion to a proud LitMom

The Seeds of Hope Foundation LitClubs are already having an amazing 2019! Sixteen LitClubs have been running every week this month and 7 LitClubs celebrated the end of their two years and held graduations with cake, fun and games! Everyone was extremely proud of their accomplishments of finishing their curriculums.

Seeds of Hope runs a robust Mom’s Sewing program, empowering the local women to come together, express themselves and create in these spaces. While this is certainly not “goodbye” for many moms, the celebration was filled with equal amounts of joy and sadness as everyone shared about her learning experiences throughout the class and displayed their beautiful dresses which they had sewn in class. 

LitMoms enjoy their graduation ceremony

LitMoms enjoy their graduation ceremony

Seeds of Hope continues to flourish with their mobile libraries as well! The librarian Mr. Isac Khan reports that while he visited different villages in March, every visit showed many children and community members enjoying the large number of books for reading and borrowing. At the end of the month over 605 books were loaned between the traveling library and the regular Seeds Of Hope libraries! Shooting stars to all the young and old readers out there!

Congratulations to these young readers, we are so proud of you!

Congratulations to these young readers, we are so proud of you!

World Read Aloud Month in Rodanillo, Colombia

Our incredible partners at Museo Rayo in Roldanillo, Colombia turned February into Read Aloud month! The Partnership Coordinator, Jhoanna, shared that experience with LitWorld:

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“World Read Aloud Day became the MONTH of Reading Aloud, and tremendous work was done in Roldanillo, Colombia valley. We started the first day with the sound of a siren , signifying that WRAD month has begun. The mentors were brought to places all across Roldanillo: to schools and colleges, to day care centers and foster homes, to jails, churches, elderly homes, and fire stations. Everyone read when hearing the sound of the siren, because it was the signal to start a simultaneous read aloud throughout Roldanillo. Over 6,500 people participated in this wonderful and rewarding celebration.

The mentors chose their favorite books and shared them with all the different groups. The famous poet Agueda Pizarro was a special guest and read her book "The Ray for Children", in homage to the painter and founder of Museo Rayo, Omar Rayo.

Throughout the month, students from across Rodanillo passed through the Rayo Museum’s reading room. In the first week of February 1500 children visited the room from Monday to Friday. The department library supported our LitClubs by dictating a workshop to mentors and teachers in training how to conduct a read aloud, and offered ideas and complementary activities to become literacy advocates and readers. “

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About LitClubs in Roldanillo overall, Johanna writes: 

"The positive moments that occur in LitClub revolve around happiness, when the children arrive and embrace each other, and they listen to each other, you see the love for being in LitClub. The members have learned to make new friends that they see every eight days. They have formed emotional bonds, support each other and show one another so much love.

"When the weekly question is asked and the circle of praise begins, the mentors realize that a bond of friendship has been formed that is difficult to break, because they are always ready and willing to listen and to highlight the positive of the other, without any doubt whatsoever."

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