Casa Chapi’s students come from backgrounds of extreme poverty and remote landscapes. Many families live miles from any school, do not have a strong family support system, or even enough to eat.
Quechua is the language spoken at home. The Quechua language is primarily an oral tradition, so reading the written word isn’t a part of the culture. Often, the children haven’t had the opportunity to learn to speak Spanish, let alone learn how to read it, yet most schools in the region teach in Spanish.
This is a conundrum that sets Quechua children up to fail.
Over the past six months, we’ve instituted an intensive reading program to bring Casa Chapi’s kids up to speed so they can study at the same pace as other kids their age. As you can see from the reading growth chart, the program has proven extremely successful in a short amount of time.
Now, not only are the children able to read and comprehend their math, science, and language arts subjects, but they have come to love reading for pleasure. At Casa Chapi, it’s no longer unusual to see a child sitting in a chair reading, just for the fun of it.
As a lifelong reader, it makes my heart sing to see the children’s happy faces as they discover new adventures in a book, or comprehend a subject for the first time. I hope it will inspire you, too!
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