Our History

 

During a visit to her native Venezuela, América Soler-Everhart saw a critical need – poor rural families couldn’t afford books for their children, and there were no public libraries, which meant that whenever a child needed a book or wanted to study after school, there was no place to go.

 

Driven to help, América set up a bookcase with donated books in her mother’s home, and when neighborhood children came by to read or study they would call the bookcase , “La Pequeña Biblioteca” (The Little Library). La Pequeña Biblioteca was a success, but so many children needed books that América decided to organize volunteers and in 2002 founded FUNDVEC, or Fundación Venezolana Educación y Cultura (Venezuelan Foundation for Education & Culture)...




Our Impact

 

Our Vision 

Impoverished rural people in Venezuela enriching their lives by reading for knowledge and enjoyment.




Our Mission

To provide free access to quality books for disadvantaged rural citizens in Venezuela.

The Challenge

Inadequate education – is a major cause for 53% of Venezuela’s rural populace living in poverty.

2 of 3 children enter school unprepared to learn or read (only 45% reach the 9th grade).

 

Why?

Most parents do not understand the critical importance of reading to their children.

Poor families lack age-appropriate books in homes and schools.

 

The Solution: FUNDVEC’s Rural Library Projects


Biblioteca Pública El Páramo

A free public library that provides 11 rural villages with access to over 1500 quality books, 2 computers with learning & business software, audio-visual media, reading programs and workshops.




Seeds of Knowledge Bookcase Libraries

Bookcases filled with age-appropriate books for children in preschools, kindergartens, and first-grade classrooms; teachers and parents are encouraged to read aloud to their children every day to instill basic pre-literacy skills.




How our projects are making a difference:

90% or better K12-grade student success rate since Biblioteca Pública El Páramo opened in 2004.


With ample age-appropriate books, teachers are adding more read-aloud activities, and children are enjoying and are much more interested in books.


Parents are realizing the importance and spending more time reading to their children.


Children’s early literacy skills are improving significantly.



Testimonials


 

“The books are in the hands of children who have never before held a book. Each book will be read over and over again.”


Adelaide Pedrique,

teacher

Caserío Las Campechanas Rural Preschool



“When you want to teach children to think, you begin by . . . making them readers and thinkers of significant thoughts. . . .”


Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

British philosopher and mathematician



“Education is truly critical to overcome poverty and create prosperity. . .”


Felipe Sáez

World Bank’s resident representative in Venezuela.


 

FUNDVEC’S Board of Directors is made up of community volunteers who subscribe to the FUNDVEC’s mission statement. Board members are expected to attend annual meetings, take part in the review and funding of programs, actively engage in fundraising as appropriate, and contribute financially to the Foundation as personal means permit.


Board Members

América Soler-Everhart, President

Lillian Trillo, Secretary

Fiona Henderson, Treasurer

José Alvarez-Cornett

Kevin Stetson Rodriguez

José Romero


VOLUNTEERS

Doris Albornoz

Carmen Madriz-Barnes

Shirley Cooper

Craig L Everhart

David L. Everhart

Mayra Madriz

Patrick Mahoney

Robert Morey

Juan Carlos Ortega

Graciela Pagano

Edward & Barbara Portoni

Giuliana Rodrigues

Rubén & Marian Rodriguez

Carmen Luisa Ruiz

Christ (Chiquy) Mejia

Matt & Nakarí Small

Juana Enríquez Tang

Héctor Fortuny Tepedino

Laurie Weber

Alex Esparza