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Screen_Shot_2016-05-10_at_8.08.34_PMThe Belize Project team is a group of individuals who work hand in hand with churches and educators in Belize to develop a program that at the end will combat illiteracy.

The group formed about 3 years ago in the Village of Cristo Rey in Corozal and since then have been working along with the Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, a non-profit organization that promotes early childhood literacy by handing out books to young children free of cost.

Here in the north hundreds of books have been distributed. In fact we can tell you that this past weekend 1,900 books were handed out and next in plan is a survey to determine the effectiveness of the reading program.

Ismael Vallejos President of the Board Belize Project

“This Bedtime stories was piloted about three years ago and it started small, it started in Cristo Rey Village with a couple boxes of books and we saw the responses of the parents and the kids how this was very effective and it was given the result that was needed, the bonding the parent with the child and also the child raising awareness and curiosity about books at its early age so it was with this that Belize Project started to seek partners to expand this project and raise funding and here is where Rotary came on board here in Corozal and Internationally to help raise the support to bring these books now follow up to these surveys to always keep on finding and reaching out to kids to enroll them in this program and so every month there is going to be distribution of these books at the community level.”

The Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library bedtime stories were initially established by Mac Hilton from Belize project U.S.A., who came to Belize about 15 years ago.

Ismael Vallejos President of the Board Belize Project

“The Belize Project is connected to Belize Project USA and this was established by Mr. McHilton who came here about fifteen years ago and started visiting different areas of the community and got involve in starting projects that would uplift the Belizean people, there were several involvements he has like in the schools like education, what he does he connects people from abroad, say for example reading consultants to the school, that is one area in the area of rehabilitation he has been very much involved in the rehabilitation at Jacobs Farms, by raising support and bring people to help us with infrastructure but most recently we see the bedtime stories today and also part of the project that the Belize USA Project does.”

Together with Rotary, the Belize Project team has been inspiring the lives of children one story book at a time and in the near future the plan is to apply for a US$100,000 global grant to expand the project.

William Hunt President of Rotary club Corozal

“Our basic process is a facilitator, we handle the books coming into the country, we get them to the distribution points where the local directors can distribute them to the village chairpersons for delivery for the children at this time the funding is not through Rotary but we are in the process of applying for a global grant to fund it through the second year to the tune of about one hundred thousand dollars.”

President of Belize Project, Ismael Vallejos, extends an invitation to all parents who would want their children ages 0 to 4 years enrolled in the program to contact the group for more information by calling 600-8061.

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