POSTED July 13, 2017
Families are nurtured by reading and sharing together
An update on a CCFC Paraguay project, which won the 2016 CCFC-DUCA Innovation Contest
By Rosanna Menchaca, communications manager, Paraguay
Reading is not necessarily a priority for economically disadvantaged families in Paraguay who are focused on their basic needs. And, limited access to books, materials and vocabulary, means there’s less opportunity for children to receive a formal education.
That’s why the Family Reading Time project was launched in a Paraguayan community where Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) works. The goal was to improve reading skills among children (up to the age of three) by creating new family habits such as reading and learning together.
In 10 months, 60 children and their families participated in workshops and one-on-one meetings to encourage adults to read to their children, introduce more educational activities and even craft homemade paper books together. “I was very touched when we made a book,” shared Damaris, a mother-of-two. She was excited about how much it motivated her and was happy to see children engaged and asking questions about what they were reading.
Beyond seeing an improvement in reading, relationships improved, too. Many mothers said they did not know how to play with their children, because they never played as girls themselves. So, the workshops represented a space for parents to explore their own creative potential.
“This project awakened me and awakened my children as well. I received many things I never received in my life. I made books. I learned,” said Dominga, a mother-of-four, who will be sharing her experience with adults in her community.
The project, implemented by local partner Fundación Alda, also involved the distribution of age-appropriate books to set up reading spaces in the homes of participating families.
Family Reading Time was funded through DUCA – Financial Services Credit Union Ltd. after CCFC’s country office in Paraguay won 61 percent of votes in a CCFC-DUCA Innovation Contest.
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