Reading program


Our aim is to promote reading amongst rural families

Core project: the family collection. Secrets, the countryside in words

The family collection is an educational project that consists of editing, producing and personally delivering a collection of books to families in rural areas. These books have been written using accessible, easy-to-understand language based on its target audience and every two years we are renewing its content so as to preserve the interest factor on the part of our target audience.

Each trilogy consists of a book on literature exalting the joy of reading, a book on practices useful for rural families in going about their daily lives and another book about science or general knowledge.

The key to the Foundation’s success so far is that we go straight to where these rural families live and personally deliver the material in what we call installation workshops. Thanks to this “hands-on” approach, we have been able to reach out all remote towns and villages in the Department of Antioquia, and provide these families with the only reading material they are ever likely to own. Having their own books in the comfort of their very own homes has allowed both adults and children alike to establish good reading habits and we are now proud to have a new generation of “readers” in the countryside where before there were very few.

Reading supplements: glasses and dictionaries

As part of the activities carried out at our installation workshops, we carefully and responsibly provide glasses with a lens power of +1.50 or +2.00  diopters to adults over the age of 40, after undergoing an eye test confirming that they need reading glasses at home.

We also provide our rural families with a dictionary so they can better understand the meaning of the new words they come across. Both the glasses as well as the dictionary are aimed at improving reading habits amongst our target audience. Watch video: dotación de anteojos.

Story-telling competition

The Secretos para contar Foundation stages story-telling competitions so as to encourage reading and writing activities amongst teachers and schoolchildren in classrooms across the country. This project is based on the fact that reading and writing are two mutually inclusive skills in the academic and social education of a community. 

This competition was held amongst teachers and schoolchildren in Urabá (2007) and Bajo Cauca (2008), (both sub-regions of the Department of Antioquia) as well as in some rural schools in the Department of Córdoba (2009).

Prizes were given to the three best stories submitted in each of the aforementioned competitions, and we were able to compile a book, containing a sample of these, which we subsequently gave out to members of the local community.

This has helped teachers and especially children to write about the situation experienced in their own regions.

Other publications

In some parts of Antioquia we are also distributing a kit consisting of two books, a board game and a series of workshops where through game-orientated activities we are getting across our message of peace and our strong condemnation of war.

We also provide children with technical information regarding landmines and unexploded ammunition in all those areas affected by this scourge.

Babies and toddlers

In association with the Colombian Family Welfare Institute (ICBF) we are providing community “mothers” in charge of community daycare facilities in various parts of the country with our book “The First Years”

The purpose of this program is for these community mothers to track the development of the children in their care as well as the needs of infants at each specific stage, so as to ensure that they have a happy infancy and grow up to be fine, upstanding adults.

Radio program: books on the air waves

Stimulating the imagination and furthering the knowledge of our rural audience

We are developing radio programs with content that is specially designed for our rural families and related to the topics addressed in our collections. As with our books, our radio programs are aimed at furthering the knowledge of our rural families regardless of their location. These programs are broadcast by local radio stations as well as on our website.  

Teacher-training program: Teachers for life!

Ensuring that our teachers are trained in educating integral human beings

Workshop guides

We deliver our books working side by side with school teachers, who act as “bridges” for us to reach out to families living in the more remote areas. As part of this joint initiative, the Secretos para contar Foundation has published four workshop guides (10.000 copies each), that is to say one for each trilogy of books we have published.

These have been provided to schoolteachers as part of specially-designed workshops. Both the guides as well as the workshops are based on a comprehensive focus on education with schoolteachers expanding on the topics covered by our books and taking maximum advantage of this material during classroom hours.  

Secrets for teaching: a portal for rural schoolteachers

In Secrets for Teaching, the teacher portal found on this website, we publish material specially tailored for teachers on a permanent basis. Here, teachers can access the contents of the books we provide, classified for easy reference and presented in a fun and entertaining way, along with a teaching library with workshop flashcards that can be used with the schoolchildren. Click here

Business enterprise program: local talents

Providing support to further the economic capacity of different rural communities by encouraging them to build a future in the place of their roots and in so doing reduce urban migration levels in Colombia  

Tourism in La Mojana

Given the amount of destruction produced by heavy rainfall, as a result of La Niña weather phenomenon in 2010, the Secretos Para Contar Foundation, with the support of Bancolombia, embarked on two projects in the regions of La Mojana and Gran Isala de Mompox (in the Departments of Bolívar and Magdalena). The first consisted of providing our latest trilogy of books to 10.000 rural families in these underprivileged areas. The second, benefiting a total of 500 families in 13 communities, was aimed at taking full advantage of the human talent within these regions by setting up various community and tourist initiatives.

Tamesis – Getting the Youngsters on Board

Here we worked with a group of youngsters from the town of Támesis in setting up various projects that reported both personal gains for the participants as well as community benefits for the town at large, this based on a development program involving the townspeople.