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We are a group of educators who have taken our passion for literacy and commitment to active citizenship to a global level. As part of a small, teacher-led non-profit organization called the Belize Education Project, we have made a long-term commitment to improve literacy and education in the Cayo District of Belize, Central America. For each of the past five years, we have travelled to Belize for a week in October to work with children and provide professional development for up to 40 teachers at three primary schools in the Cayo District. We also bring Belizean educators to the United States for professional development in our schools. Over the years we have developed close friendships with our colleagues in Belize. We treasure watching the children, who captured our hearts during the first visit, grow up and become readers. Shari (a fourth grade teacher and co-author of this article) put it best when she said, "Half of my heart now lives in Belize. It is wonderful to visit that half of my heart every October."

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This document was originally published by National Council for the Social Studies in Social Studies and the Young Learner. Copyright restrictions may apply.