Thursday, September 3, 2009

$13,000 RE Cares Grant awarded to CDV

Corazon de Vida has been awarded $13,000 from an RE Cares grant. This money will be used in the 2009/2010 school year for tuition, uniforms and transportation for a total of 100 students from Hacienda, LaRoca and Casa de Paz. Elsevier RE Cares is proud to be a corporate sponsor for Corazon de Vida.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Update on the La Roca Library Project!

Although San Diego RE Cares is proud of the outcome and success of Project La Roca Library, we are sad to say that the funding has come to a close. In 2008 RE Cares donated $10,000 to the La Roca Library Project, which we used to create a computer lab and a more functional library. The grant included funds for a Librarian (Maria Luisa Mendez Lozada) and Computer Lab Head (Isidro Santiago). The La Roca Library continues to be used for the primary school children with the help of the school teachers.
Together with Corazon de Vida we have succeeded in our project and had great results.

Librarian Maria Luisa Mendez Lozada was the fulltime onsite librarian heading up the La Roca Library. As the small library's first paid professional librarian, she lead library orientation, literacy and computer classes for preschoolers through sixth-grade and delivered library services in La Roca Primary School classrooms.

Computer Lab Head Isidro Santiago set-up and maintained the computer lab in the library.

La Roca Librarian Maria Luisa Mendez Lozada’s stats from October 2008-May 2009: She instructed 2,204 library users aged 3-12, 30 aged 13-18, and 115 adults. Also she taught 125 computer classes, reaching 863 attendees. (These numbers don’t reflect unique students or users; the same participants may have attended multiple trainings or sessions.)

Click to see Pictures

Also Maria Luisa reports that the library services, which she organized, made a difference in
the lives of La Roca residents and Primary School students. Below Maria Luisa sends us a little of what she and the students experienced:

"Irwin … hid his right hand as if he were afraid of the mouse, as if he touched it he could break it. So I approached him and took his right hand to teach him to use the mouse as it should and thus control the movement of the cursor. When holding his hand and saw it, I realized his hand was a little stunted, somewhat stiff, but I continued with the explanation and guide on how to do it and encourage him not to give up. The fact is, that his hand had a disability. If life gave him lemons lets make lemonade. Then I suggested that if it was easier to work with his left hand, I could teach and change the functions of mouse buttons for him. But he would have to find out how the keyboard would work as both hands are used, plus I did not know to what extent he can exercise his right side. Despite his disability, he made great strides compared to his healthy peers."

"Jose Alfredo [in the third grade] is a very lively boy and he admires everything that is discovered. He likes to learn words in English that are used in computer science. He was the one who proposed to allow those who already knew how to write and read a book to transcribe into the computer and [leave the others] with learning to write their names, the alphabet and numbers. He loves to go to the library to read and play the lottery and build literacy puzzles while waiting for a ride home."

And Maria Luisa reports that her experience at La Roca has also meant a lot to her, personally. She says: "Working in the library gave me the opportunity to work with my daughter who is La Roca’s kindergarten teacher, appointed by the National Council of Educational Development (CONAFE). It was a great blessing because … at that time we were not mother and daughter, but two adult women who exchange knowledge, experiences, to benefit our students."

San Diego RE Cares Committee says "Thank You" to all who participated to make this a huge success!

A special thanks to Daria DeCooman for her dedication to this project. She worked many personal hours and even spent a few nights a La Roca to help Maria Luisa. She helped provide funds for Maria Luisa to attend the FORO conference for librarians in Tijuana; an event sponsored by Elsevier.

The La Roca Library's progress owes thanks for generous donations and support from:
Apogee Electronics, Beckman Coulter, Corazon de Vida, DEMCO, Rolling Readers, Capstone Press, Erica Trowbridge, Foothills United Methodist Church in San Diego, Gryphon House, LexisNexis, San Diego Public Library's College-Rolando Branch Library, Scholastic books, The Bookman and San Diego University.

And also a thanks to George Perez of Corazon de Vida who is alway a pleasure to work with. He has dedicated his whole life to the orphaned children of Baja. His dedication and professionalism helps us to keep our corporate sponsor relations.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

La Roca Library Drive

La Roca Orphanage is in need of some items for the Library Project. Please bring items listed at your left to Rena Cuadras (20th floor, NW corner) from Feb 19th - March 18th. Or email RE Cares if you would like to donate at

Thank You!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What a wonderful Library!

Project La Roca Library was a huge success. We arrived on what I think was the hottest day of August, non the less eager to transform the existing library into a functional space for checking out books, reading, computer work area and doing homework. After a tour of La Roca, the 40 volunteers from Elsevier, EPS, Lexis Nexis and, University of San Diego (librarians) and Beckman Coulter along with family and friends cleared out the old and worn items and replaced with new and donated items. We also cleaned, cleaned, cleaned as we sorted through books and mopped floors. In the hot sun Jeff Berend and a group of volunteers took on the building of carrels for the computer room. Then we all took a break with the children, their moms and Pastor Miguel and had a great lunch provided by CDV. After lunch it was time to clean up and head up the hill to the bus for the ride back to San Diego and Los Angeles. There was still lots to be done, so Daria De Cooman, the dedicated volunteer that she is, stayed at La Roca and finished off the library details over the next two day. And what a wonderful finish it was. The children are so excited to have such an awesome library to read their book in. (click to see pics) RE Cares thanks all who volunteered for this project and a special thanks was sent by the children of La Roca. Also thanks to Hector the bus driver, George Perez at CDV for their dedication to the children of Baja, Mexico.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

RE Cares San Diego Granted $10,000 for La Roca Library Project

Reed Elsevier's Spring Funding granted San Diego RE Cares $10,000 for Corazon de Vida's La Roca Orphanage. RE Cares will be upgrading the small onsite La Roca library so it offers more value to La Roca Primary School students. Our project is well underway with a planned bus trip for August 21, 2008. On this trip we will be cleaning and organizing the area for the Library. Assembling furniture, organizing books, installing ceiling fans and window treatments and setting up a computer room.

Registration is open. We hope to get 50 volunteers for this project. To register for the trip click to sign up. Goverment issue ID or Passport will be needed(for more info, see bottom of signup/registration form). As on previous trips, family and friends are welcome to come along. And, of course, please be sure to get your manager's approval to participate. Since this trip takes place on a regular business day, RE employees can use one of their "Two Days Off" to attend this unique and rewarding event. (Please check with your local HR rep or RE Cares Champion if you're unsure of the procedure for requesting "Two Days" time off.)