Share Literacy Mexico (SLM) is an initiative of the Canadian based non-profit, Institute for Cross-cultural Exchange (ICE). With the help of partners, volunteers, donors and grants, SLM donates Spanish/English bilingual books to needy children in schools and orphanages in Mexico. One of their key partners is One Life One Chance, a Canadian charity that builds houses for the poor of the region. Each family housed by One Life One Chance receives Share Literacy books.
SLM's rationale for this intervention is supported by a 20-year study by the University of Nevada, that revealed that the more books a child has in the home the greater the benefit and likelihood she will reach a higher level of education. However, in Mexico, where nearly half (44.2%) of the Mexican population live in poverty, and 10.5% live extreme poverty; the poor have little access to books and to decent education. Through donating books, SLM has found that children who own a book share it with their friends and read it to their siblings and mothers, thus initiating family literacy, even if in an elementary way.
The tales in SLM's books were selected and written especially for children by the Afghan author Idries Shah, who spent over 30 years of his life collecting hundreds of tales in the Middle East & Central Asia. SLM donates bilingual Spanish-English editions to help Mexican children understand what we share and can learn from these cultures.The stories themselves are unique teaching instruments helping to develop higher level thinking skills (e.g. critical, inferential and analogical thinking) perceptions and mental flexibility. They can help alleviate the influence of extremism, since thought patterns developed through familiarity with these tales are incompatible with extremist beliefs. They also help foster the social and emotional development of the child.
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CEI approaches in actionStudent supportLearning materials for studentsEarly Childhood DevelopmentEthics & Values/ReligionEnglish languageLocal language/Mother tongue language
Model details2012Not-for-profitLiteracyLocal language/Mother tongue language21st century skills (soft skills)Ethics & Values/ReligionEnglish languageLocal language/Mother tongue languageActiveLong-term projectHoopoe BooksOne Life One Chance Canadian Friends of Vamos! (Juntos!) 1,00050%50%
BeneficiariesDisplaced individualsOut-of-school childrenOrphans and vulnerable children
We partner with existing literacy organizations and NGO’s with a good track record of serving the poorest children in Mexico in schools and orphanages. The books are beautifully illustrated with very entertaining traditional tales. These stories have endured for a thousand years because they’re good. They also provoke thought and mental flexibility.
Scale1000Donated books that have been distributedDecember, 2013
The Institute for Cross-cultural Exchange was founded 2004 to distribute children's books and educational support materials to children in need worldwide.
2005: First Operational year - 5500 Books distributed to Canadian literacy programs
2010: First distribution of 5,500 books distributed to Green Village schools, Women of Hope, Kabul Orphan Care
Aug 2010: ICE donated 200 Hoopoe books to a school and orphanage in the San Quintin Valley, Baja, Mexico
2011: ICE & SLM has received approval from the Canada Revenue Agency to distribute books with Spanish or English/Spanish text in Mexico
2012: SLM donated 200 Hoopoe books to a school and orphanage in the San Quintin Valley, Baja, Mexico; SLM distributed 500 books for use by children in Guernavaca, Mexico through Canadian Friends of Vamos! (Juntos!), a Canadian charity.
In the coming year, we hope to donate 10,000 books to One Life One Chance and other charities that help disadvantaged children in Mexico learn to read.
Monitoring & EvaluationYes
To receive books and other learning materials from SLM, recipients are asked to provide regular reports and photos. All deliveries are documented and signed for by recipients and copies are sent to SLM.Internal assessment performanceUser satisfactionCost effectiveness/value for moneyNo