The GLP offers holistic and sustainable support to impoverished communities in Guatemala’s Central and Western Highlands through four complementary programs:
- The Textbook Program provides textbooks to rural middle schools and trains teachers to use them effectively.
- The Computer Centers Program establishes 21st-century Computer Centers in rural middle schools and trains computer instructors from within the local communities.
- The Culture of Reading Program (CORP) instills a lifelong love of reading and learning in primary-school children by providing their teachers with books and training in effective reading instruction.
- The Scholarship & Youth Development Program provides full academic scholarships and involves young people in leadership, professional, and life skills training, as well as community service.
Sustainability: Textbooks and Computers
The Textbook and Computer Programs use a sustainable “revolving fund” model, whereby parents pay a small rental fee for their children to use the books or computers. Program schools save this money in a designated fund which is eventually used to buy new books and computers as the old ones wear out. Thus the programs are 100% financially self-sustaining.
100% of schools that have been active in the Textbook Program for at least five years have replaced their books at least once, and 24 Computer Centers have renewed their technology as well.
The Revolving Fund Model
(Numbers used are examples and do not reflect actual costs.)
CORP achieves sustainability by building local capacity for reading instruction. The teachers who participate in CORP are able to better educate generations of future students, and they also share their knowledge with other teachers. As American writer and historian Henry Adams said famously: “A teacher affects eternity; you can never know where his influence stops.” In turn, the students who benefit from these CORP-trained teachers spread their newfound love of reading throughout their homes, their schools, and their communities, fostering a true culture of reading.
The Scholarship & Youth Development Program achieves sustainability by transforming the lives of indigenous young people who then contribute to the development of their entire country. Currently, 53% of program graduates are helping to pay for their younger siblings’ education—breaking the cycle of poverty for more young people in their own generation.