Project Example

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