Jairo had never read a book prior to starting the BLR (Books, Libraries, and Reading) Program. Jairo didn’t enjoy school, and his teachers had a hard time with him. Since December 2022, after the BLR program started, Jairo has finished reading more than 12 books!
Jairo’s love for soccer motivated him to read four of the soccer books. They discovered that Jairo and other boys at the home were very interested in the World Cup. When they found this out they immediately purchased four World Cup books for the boys to read. Within two weeks, Jairo had read three of them.
It didn’t stop with the World Cup. Jairo started to be interested in reading books about Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. Again, Jairo read both of those books within two weeks. He has continued to read more and more books with topics that have expanded outside of sports.
The program was developed by Brad Jensen in 2018, and later he began working with A Child’s Hope Foundation to partner with orphanages in Mexico in 2021. Brad recently retired at 54 and now devotes his full time and attention to running the BLR Program, which is the main reason why he retired early. It is people like Brad who add value to the program and understand the reason behind our goal to lift kids from surviving to thriving.
The mission of the BLR program is to help kids at our partner homes:
- To develop a love of reading
- To read often
- To talk about what they read
There is a high percentage of kids that enter children’s homes who are practically illiterate and due to lack of books at home, lack of attention to the importance of reading, and poor access to technology and other resources.
How the BLR program works:
Brad creates a list of books for the kids to choose from, based on their interests, from the local book store. The list contains photos of the books, number of pages in the book, description of the book, etc.. Then, Brad sends the list over to the caregivers for them to go over with the kids. Next, the kids pick the top three books that interest them and choose to commit to reading them. Finally, Brad purchases the books and sends them to the home so the kids can continue to nurture their interest in reading.
The local BLR manager (a motivated and committed orphanage staff member) holds effective reading and library sessions with kids. They provide targeted books based on the kids interests, reading level, reading style, and taking into account any reading challenges the kids may have.
This program provides:
- Easy access to books at the orphanages
- A way to discovering the kids’ interests
- Better focus and attention to school work
- Reinforcing the importance of reading
As kids are given simple opportunities like these to grow and develop new hobbies, we continue to see them move from surviving to thriving.
Just like we have libraries here in the states, we want the kids to have access to a library in their homes, so they have easy access to a world of knowledge!