The Franciscan Missionary Center “Santa Teresita” in the town of Aguaray, in northern Argentina requested a financial grant in late 2020. The grant request outlined an innovative educational literacy program titled: “The Mateo Proposal” designed especially for poor and vulnerable children, entering first grade, in rural communities.

Beginning in 2021, the two year project was designated for five of the twenty-four communities served by the Franciscan Missionary Center. Over 2,500 people directly or indirectly benefited from the program. This program has, as its central focus, a beautiful and entertaining story that the teacher narrates daily. It is a systematic, and balanced pedagogical program that includes the teaching of the writing system and promoting the development of phonological awareness.

The Mateo literacy program also introduced the formation of a learning community beyond the classroom. Teachers trained women from the local communities as literacy workers to care for older children that did not complete their literacy programs. It allows for the development of spaces for the promotion of reading within the communities. And, it guaranteed access to storybooks to strengthen the future trajectory of literacy, creativity, and much more. 

With the generous support of our benefactors, Franciscan Missions awarded the financial grant in early 2021, just in time for the new school year. Today, the Mateo literacy program has grown to serve 22 communities benefiting over 30,000 people. Specifically, 1,500 primary school children are currently enrolled. With your generous support these Franciscan missionaries will continue their program and together we will have a positive impact on the lives of these people.  Together, we deliver hope.

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