MODEL PROJECT: Beyond el Campo
Who: Caitlin Scudder, Amherst College Class of 2011
Where: Rural Costa Rica
What: Creating a community resource center in Santa Cruz de Leon Cortez by supplying books, computers and other resources, finding a space for the center, and forming summer camps and book clubs for community member of all ages.
When: Fall 2009-Summer 2011
Why is she a good candidate?
- Worked with Reader to Reader beginning in the fall of 2008
- Previous experience in the schools of Santa Cruz as a WorldTeach volunteer
- Fluent in Spanish
- Developed many close friends in the community of Santa Cruz de Leon Cortes, including teachers and administrators
- Passionate, dedicated, charismatic, professional, and highly energetic
- Maintained relations with members of her target community and thus proved her ability to communicate over long distances excellently
What did she do on-campus for this project?
- Organized an on-campus group that works towards raising awareness and funds
- Applied for grants
- Received over $1,500 in donations from her local Rotary chapter
- Held a charity dinner and auction which raised more than $6,500
- Created a Facebook Fan Page and Group for awareness, funds and feedback
- Traveled to San Francisco, CA to engage in social networking in order to make connections and build project resources
- Found volunteer partners, including a Certified Library Technician who trains those interested in maintaining the computers and library
- Applied for and received funding for summer work in Santa Cruz
What did she do in the field?
- Found local partners and donors
- Held biweekly meetings in Santa Cruz with community members to update them and stay in touch with their hopes for the project
- Brought two volunteers from the States in to aid in teaching the summer programs
- Communicated regularly with Reader to Reader staff
- Taught a summer literacy camp, set up a temporary library, and trained community members in management of the library
- Brought hundreds of books and a computer to the library
- Received land with the help of local groups, which now houses a permanent library for the community
What did RTR provide for her project?
- 501(c)(3) status for grants and tax-exempt donations
- Connections to authors, organizations, publishers, and donors
- Promotions on website, newsletter, blog, personal and public functions
- Advance funds for travel, printing, etc.
- Business Cards
- Support staff of web designers, translators, brochure designers, video production partners, grant writers and photographers
- Assistance in fundraising and professional meetings
- High-price auction items
- Fundraiser catering and bar costs
- Financial Stewardship, including tracking donations, funds management and filing tax returns
- Staff member running the on-campus group and fundraisers while Caitlin studied abroad
- Provided $10,000 worth of new Spanish-language books