Educational Institutions

Frances and Henry Riecken Foundation, Inc.

  • Princeton, NJ
  • www.riecken.org

This organization is a 501(c)(3) Private Operating Foundation (This organization has notified the IRS of its intention to convert to a public charity, and the IRS has ruled that grantors and contributors may consider it a public charity for the purpose of making contributions to the organization.).

Mission Statement

Riecken Community Libraries promote democracy and prosperity in Central America through modern community libraries that awaken a spirit of discovery and foster citizen participation.

Main Programs

  1. Reading
  2. Youth
  3. Culture and Identity
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

The Riecken Foundation coordinates a total network of 64 community libraries in Central America, with 11 libraries in Guatemala and 53 in Honduras.  Each country has a small central office of coordination and development based in Antigua, Guatemala and Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

ruling year

2000

Principal Officer since 2009

Self-reported

Mr. William Cartwright

Keywords

Self-reported

Guatemala, Honduras, libraries, community development, youth, education, early childhood

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Also Known As

Riecken Community Libraries

EIN

04-3500365

 Number

4964588059

Physical Address

U.S.Office ESG, Inc. The Riecken Foundation C/O T. Grover PO Box 30

Princeton, NJ 08542

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Libraries, Library Science (B70)

Rural (S32)

Citizenship Programs, Youth Development (O54)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-PF.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

The network of  64 Riecken Community Libraries in Guatemala and Honduras provides access to information, technology and global networks where previous access was limited or nonexistent, receiving nearly 1 million visits per year.  The key to transforming the libraries into extraordinary tools for local development is the combination of access to information resources with Riecken’s signature educational programming and its sustainable model of participatory local management structure.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Reading

The Reading Program's overall goal is to create life-long readers by promoting reading as a pleasurable, exciting activity.  Among a vast selection of tools, the three primary activities we implement are:

 

1. Early Childhood Develepment / Emergant Literature: Mothers and fathers learn and practice valuable techniques to read, sing, play, and learn with their small children ages 0-5.  Nutrition and other basic health care education is an integral component.

 

2. Story Hours: Targeted at children under 10 year old, dynamic story hours delivered by trained librarians and volunteers engage children to discover new worlds and wonders through books and stories.  Combined with hands-on, participatory activities that help participants better understand and relate to the story content, Story hours inspire children to consider books valuable gateways to inspire imagination and fun.

 

3. Book Clubs: Children and youth ages nine and up meet weekly for book clubs to read and discuss novels and other literature with library staff and their peers.  The book clubs are voluntary; no grades are given, which inspires personal motivation and commitment to reading.  Skills enphasized are critical thinking and analysis, self-confidence, and communications.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Hispanics

Native Americans/American Indians

Budget

Program 2

Youth

Youth Clubs formed in each library offer opportunities for local teenagers to participate in debate teams, environmental education campaigns, community volunteer projects, arts and crafts, cultural and theatrical performances, and values development.  The groups' activities aim to build participants' knowledge bases, and to develop vital Life Skills related to leadership, communication, teamwork, critical thinking, self-esteem, and more.

Category

Youth Development

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Hispanics

Native Americans/American Indians

Budget

Program 3

Culture and Identity

This program promotes the libraries as venues for celebrating local culture and identity, valuing the use of indegnous native Mayan languages, value systems, knowledge and practices, in addition to access to information from Western societies.  Community pride in local languages and belief systems is fostered through this program, ensuring that all populations around a library feel welcomed to visit and use the services offered.  Some activities include:

 

1. Pixab': The term Pixab' in Maya language means "advice" or "Council".  Elders meet with young children weekly to share oral histories and stories about their childhood, instruct on customs no longer practiced commonly such as how to greet someone older than yourself when passing on the street, or different kinds of games and food preparation techniques.

 

2. Bilingual Teacher Resource Centers: In regions where appropriate, libraries are equipped with bilingual materials in Spanish and native Mayan languages, and the library staffs provide trainings for teachers how to apply learner-based education practices in the classroom to ensure children growing up in bilingual communities value and develop their reading, writing, communication and critical thinking skills in both languages.

 

3. Book Publication: The Riecken Foundation publishes high quality children's books based on traditional oral histories written and illustrated by library staff and local volunteers.

 

4. Cultural Patrimony and Natural Resource Mapping: Using GPS technology, the library offers training and opportunities for students and interested citizens to chart and map their community assets for use of community planning decisions.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Native Americans/American Indians

Hispanics

Budget

Service Areas

Self-reported

International

The Riecken Foundation coordinates a total network of 64 community libraries in Central America, with 11 libraries in Guatemala and 53 in Honduras.  Each country has a small central office of coordination and development based in Antigua, Guatemala and Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Funding Needs

Our hope is to scale up the library network so that every Central American can easily access modern community libraries and benefit their important services.  The Riecken Foundation applies for grants, prizes, projects, and other support, and is open to exploring new partnerships, public and private.    All donor contributions are welcomed.

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

THE FRANCES AND HENRY RIECKEN FOUNDATION
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Frances and Henry Riecken Foundation, Inc.

Leadership

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Principal Officer

Mr. William Cartwright

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"When I first heard about Riecken and the libraries I thought they sounded very unique.  After one visit to the libraries I was sold. I was very attracted to the idea of the community libraries and how they became central institutions in rural municipalities in Honduras and Guatemala. Riecken libraries are very alive and offer many options to rural community members that formerly were not available."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Jim Wilson

Corcept Therapeutics

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


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BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


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BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?