Red Deer Alberta Rotary Supporting Literacy In Belize, in San Ignacio, Volunteers

  • Literacy Alive 4 Professional Development Sessions

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  • Alberta Pre-service Teachers join Literacy Alive Project

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The Red Deer Rotary Club in collaboration with San Ignacio Rotary Club in Belize co-sponsors the Literacy Alive Project.

Literacy Alive 4 Professional Development Sessions

The 2018 Literacy Alive mission in Belize is complete. Ten talented Alberta teachers, three ambitious and promising fourth year U of A education students, and 10 Belize volunteer teachers and librarians led workshops on literacy for over a hundred Belize teachers who are getting ready to start the new school year. The response to our week of high energy activity, sharing of rich literacy resources and building of professional contacts and networks was exceptionally positive. Many new friendships were developed. For many of the leaders and participants fond memories for a lifetime were made.  Another UNBELIZEABLE experience!

Alberta Pre-service Teachers join Literacy Alive Project

Three 4th year Education students joined the Literacy Alive team as volun-traveller support members for Professional Development sessions held at Sacred Heart College in San Ignacio last week. In addition to helping with registration and organization students helped prepare and explain hand-on activities for the popular Make and Take session.

Dream It & Do It!

DREAM IT and DO IT!  If you can stay in school and obtain a high school diploma many doors will open for your future but young students need to Dream this possibility and Do what they can to make graduation a reality. This was the project slogan for Literacy Alive 4 – a Rotary International Global Grant project that took place in Belize, Central America in March 2018.  The overall goal of the project was to improve literacy for children and adults through a collaborative venture between the Rotary Club of Red Deer, Alberta Canada and the San Ignacio, Belize Rotary Club.

Over 350 children participated in the very successful CAMP and approximately 100 Belize adults participated in training activities.  Literacy awareness was strengthened in the community through public celebrations and recognition events including a Literacy Alive Parade and a song and dance public performance on the topic of ‘Dream and Do It’.  Thousands of literacy rich resources were distributed to students, adult participants, schools and libraries.  The successes of the project exceeded the expectations of the planning team.

A Vocational Training Team of 20 Albertans (teachers and community developers) and a Voluntravel Team of 10 worked with over 50 Belize educators, government officials, community volunteers and local librarians to combat weak literacy rates in the Cayo area of Belize. The focus of the literacy teaching was directed to a variety of target groups including:  a) school age children   b) preschool children c) parents of young children  d)  adult literacy   e) English second language support   f) community based outreach literacy programs  The project was funded by the Rotary Club of Red Deer, RD 5360,  Rotary Foundations of Canada and Rotary International.  The second phase of the project continues in August where an impact study will be conducted and additional training and mentorship will be provided to Belize programs.  The Voluntravel Team completed construction of a deck to expand use the San Ignacio Library (funded privately).  For more information on the Literacy Alive access the project website at:

 Ministry of Education Director for Literacy Cayo commented:

To add to the success of the literacy camp was the wealth of knowledge shared by your Literacy experts providing coaching and mentorship by modeling the different activities to our Belizean teachers. During this time great friendships were also developed among the Canadian Team; Librarians and our Belizean teachers –  something that will never be forgotten!  For this and much more I want to thank you!  We from the Ministry of Education will ensure that the good work of the Literacy Alive 4 team is sustained in our schools and libraries. Again, words cannot express how grateful we are for all that you and your dynamic team did for our students, teachers and parents. THANKS A MILLION! (Ms. Isaura Williams)



Dream It and Do It Parade

Local drummers led 529 Cayo children and teachers as well as librarians, student teachers, MOE staff and Canadian Literacy Alive team on a parade from Sacred Heart College to San Ignacio’s Welcome Centre. Chants of, “If you can dream it, you can do it!” rang through the streets. When at the centre participants performed a special rendition of this Little Light of Mine. The parade capped off four days of a the Dream It and Do It Literacy camp. Watch the video here.

Margaretrose Willms receives Paul Harris Fellowship

Literacy Alive and the Rotary clubs of Red Deer and San Ignacio recognize the significant contributions made by our friend and colleague Margaretrose Willms. She played a key role in the creation and implementation of this project. Her passion for literacy and dedication to students and teachers will be sadly missed. Belize held a special place in her heart. Her husband and family have also been involved in Literacy Alive. Margaretrose passed away in July 2017.

What a Wonderful World!

Participants of sang and Danced to What a Wonderful World. Local flute player, Anthony Potts accompanied the group.


Rainforest Reading Adventure Camp March 29-31

The Rainforest Reading and Adventure Camp was a great success.


Rainforest Reading Camp March 29-31, 2016

Over 300 Belizean students in Standard 3 (Grade 4) participated in an exciting three day camp where Rainforest themed activities guided learning on improving reading and writing.

Developing a Love of Reading

Becoming a competent readers means you are more capable and confident learner, writer, worker and communicator. Favourite moments of all Vocational Training Team Members is being in the classrooms and watch teachers fostering a love of reading in spite of limited resources. Belizean students enjoy showing off their latest efforts. Both teacher and student love the feeling success brings!

Literacy Alive! III – Canadian Teachers Visit Village Schools

Five Canadian educators visited schools in the Cayo district in November to share strategies to deliver effective reading instruction.