American Journal of Educational Research
ISSN (Print): 2327-6126 ISSN (Online): 2327-6150 Website: Editor-in-chief: Ratko Pavlović
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American Journal of Educational Research. 2015, 3(9), 1107-1114
DOI: 10.12691/education-3-9-7
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Building Communities through Literacy

Corinne Brion1,

1University of San Diego, United States

Pub. Date: August 27, 2015

Cite this paper:
Corinne Brion. Building Communities through Literacy. American Journal of Educational Research. 2015; 3(9):1107-1114. doi: 10.12691/education-3-9-7


On the Caribbean island of Haiti, when friends meet, one generally asks: “Ki jan ou ye?” (How are you?) and often times the other person responds: “ M’pa pi mal.” (I am not worse), (, p. 29). This common greeting indicates that life in Haiti is not stress-free. Haiti has openly battled political chaos, economic dependence, and high illiteracy rates since its independence from France in 1804. Many attempts to address these issues have been made by the international community. Scholars and theorists suggest that solutions should be rooted in building robust communities, using social empathy as a tool, in order to promote independence and sustainability. This paper will investigate the way in which literacy programs such as the one organized locally by BuildOn, builds community. This study is based on a qualitative approach. Numerous focus groups as well as individual in-depth interviews of literacy students, teachers and community members were conducted. Specifically, findings revealed that the benefits of BuildOn’s literacy program are two-fold: first, it fosters community building and, second, it creates capacities for economic independence over time.

Community Education Program (CEP) community literacy social empathy

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