The Chispa Project: Sparking literacy in Honduras

The Chispa Project: Sparking literacy in Honduras

From Sara Burkes

After volunteering and teaching in Honduras, I started a full-time project to bring Spanish children's books to rural schools to improve and empower student literacy. Already 7,000 books have gone to over 30 schools!

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Update #1

4 months ago

Same project, bigger dreams. We are going full time! Check out our webpage www.chispaproject.org to find out more information. This is to raise money for a full year of donating books across rural Honduras!

More Info

There is a small village up in the mountains of Honduras called La Florida.  They say that if you drink the water there you’ll always come back, and I believe it.  I first came to Honduras in 2011 when my friend was stationed there for Peace Corps, skipped out on my family at Christmas to return a second time, and then returned a third time to live and work there in the summer of 2012 in the single classroom with grades 1-3.  That's when the book project started, and currently, we've donated over 7,000 books to 30 different schools.  I blame the water.

While working in the village school, I helped out with 1st-3rd grade that had one classroom and one teacher.  Here’s some of the numbers that stood out for me: 6 of my 13 first graders still didn't know their letters, and 2 of them don't know their numbers. 3 of those 6 will be illiterate the rest of their lives, and the other 3 are at a high risk of being the same if something doesn’t change.

During that time, I would travel to the library each week and bring back books for my kids to read if they finished their school work.  At the end of each school day, they would flood to my porch to keep reading the books. 

At the end of that summer, I raised $600 from friends and family and bought the first set of books for the classroom.  I had to travel 6 hours by bus to the capital city, and only after visiting 10 bookstores was I able to spend all my money.  Books are rare and expensive in Honduras.

Since that time, I’ve worked with individuals, a church, and a medical brigade group to continue bringing books, and facilitate trips for clean water projects and medical care assistance.  Together with the villages we are working to create more collaboration and cooperation to learn from each other and assist village children. 

Now, I'm am committing full time to this project and need $20,000 for a year of operation and bringing books to schools.  I know this is a lot, but it will primarily go to transportation costs of getting used books and donations from the U.S. and into individual schools.  We are also providing a teacher training to insure the most effective outcome with the books.

Please find out more information on our webpage www.chispaproject.org

Thanks for considering!

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Sara Burkes posted a new update:
4 months ago

Update #3

Same project, bigger dreams. We are going full time! Check out our webpage www.chispaproject.org to find out more information. This is to raise money for a full year of donating books across rural Honduras!

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