Now's the Time to Make a Difference: Empower Girls with Books

Helping girls in Guatemala read can be as easy as going to a website and making a donation to The Riecken Foundation. Monetary gifts made today can have an even greater impact through a special 1-day matching program from GlobalGiving.

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By Jessica Lyons

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Help the Girl Reader Project Today!

The Riecken Foundation's Girl Reader project is assisting 440 girls in Guatemala by encouraging a love for reading that will also help improve their education. A focus has been placed on Guatemala because close to 40% of its citizens aren't able to pass first grade, while an estimated 30% of those 15 or older can't read or write.

'Our Girl Reader project focuses on educating rural indigenous girls because studies show that when you educate girls through fifth grade they will have healthier, smaller, better educated families,' the foundation explains.

How You Can Help

Anyone interested in supporting this cause can visit the Girl Reader project page on the charity fundraising site GlobalGiving. Once there, monetary donations can be made that could help buy books, fund educational activities, support workshops or train librarians.

Through midnight eastern time on Wednesday, October 19, GlobalGiving will match 30% of each donation made, up to $1,000. GlobalGiving will also give another $1,000 donation to the project that receives the most contributions during this 1-day fundraising campaign. A total of about $100,000 is available for donation matching.

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The Riecken Foundation

Established in 2001, The Riecken Foundation seeks to promote reading and literacy in Central America by creating local community libraries in Guatemala and Honduras. Its first Guatemalan library was built in 2001, and the organization has now constructed over 60 libraries in the two countries. These Riecken Community Libraries are run by members of the area and hold activities like story hours, book clubs and computer training sessions while also providing volunteer opportunities.

One of the project's youth beneficiaries, Elena Garcia, said that she was 'really impacted' by Girl Reader. 'Before joining our library's youth club, I didn't know what leadership was or how to work on a team,' she said. 'Now I take initiative and believe in myself.'

To find out about more ways to help The Riecken Foundation, including becoming a partnering organization or a volunteer, visit the foundation's website.

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