Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala receives transformational gift to launch education program


Jerry and Annette Johns


A transformational $10,000 gift to Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala has launched a fundraising initiative to promote special early literacy programs and opportunities for Indigenous children in northwestern Guatemala.


Long-time supporters of Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala, Jerry and Annette Johns of Sycamore, Illinois, are teachers and writers who have devoted their professional careers to literacy education. The couple’s donation of $10,000 is the foundation for the organization’s early literacy campaign, which has already raised nearly half of its year-end goal of $50,000.


Jerry served as a member of the faculty at Northern Illinois University for 30 years, retiring as a distinguished teaching fellow. He was also a visiting professor at Western Washington University and the University of Victoria. He has authored and coauthored more than 300 books, articles, monographs, and research studies on literacy, and has served in several leadership roles with professional literacy organizations, including president of the International Literacy Association.


“As educators, we are pleased to support programs that help to empower children to become literate,” says Jerry Johns. “Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala is making great strides in rural Maya villages to promote early literacy education for children who have endured catastrophic poverty and would otherwise have no hope of reading or writing. Annette and I are excited to help Frances Dixon continue her extraordinary work in Guatemala in this important area.”


The violent civil war in Guatemala fought between 1960 and 1996—one of the most brutal in Latin American history—devastated the vast majority of rural Maya communities. A lifelong defender of human rights and an advocate for social justice, Frances Dixon founded Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala to help the Maya people rebuild their lives. For the past three decades she has served as a fulltime volunteer, devoting her life to create opportunities for the Maya to become empowered through education.


August 23, 2021

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