MHS alum spreads love of reading in Nicaragua

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes A young Keizer woman is using American newspapers and magazines to instill a love and habit of reading for children in Nicaragua. Megan McCann has been in the country for just more than two years, departing from Keizer in August 2010. is completing her master’s at Gonzaga University in teaching English as a second language. She went to Nicaragua to teach public school in the town of Boaco, but has found even more fulfillment assisting in a scholarship program for underprivileged children with an aptitude and attitude for success. It may sound elementary, but in this impoverished region, even the basics can be hard to come by. “Materials are difficult to find here,” McCann said. “Most schools don’t have any textbooks or anything on the walls, so English materials are even harder to find.” Called “Access,” the U.S. Embassy-sponsored program teaches English reading via dictionaries, textbooks and periodicals. The students in Access get free textbooks and dictionaries as part of their participation in the program, but they have to do their part too: To stay in the classes, they must keep their grades up in both regular school and in Access. A typical student is between ages 14 and 17. Not only is McCann a teacher, she also served as an admissions officer, interviewing students who want to be part of the program....

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