In partnership with Children International, English Language Fellow Katherine FitzSimons trained 68 English teachers in communicative teaching methodology and helped create interest in seven libraries located in disadvantaged neighborhoods through offering bilingual reading circles for children in an adopt-a-child program.
The participants remarked that the three workshops were incredibly meaningful for them as foreigners almost never visit such communities to give trainings.
To maintain the sustainability of the project and the goal of promoting reading and use of the libraries, FitzSimons proposed that teacher participants partner with volunteers from the U.S. consulate to offer bilingual reading circles once per week for a month at the seven centers.
Advised by FitzSimons, Children International purchased 70 bilingual children’s story books with accompanying audio CD and CD-ROM for the libraries to facilitate the reading circles. Local high school students also expressed interest in volunteering to read to the children as mentors during the planned reading circles.
Children International is a non-profit U.S. organization that functions similarly to other adopt-a-child programs in which an American donor gives $22 a month to sponsor a child living in poverty in Guayaquil and other cities in Ecuador and abroad.
Children International´s biggest program is in Guayaquil where it has a network of medical and library community centers, and most of the English teachers trained by FitzSimons in these communities teach young students who are sponsored by Children International.