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 Marysville Rotary Club has been partnering with the organization "Hands for Peacemaking" for the last 10 years to improve the quality of education and the lives of the people of Guatemala. We have been traveling to the Barillas area, just outside Guatemala City, to build one and two room schools for the children.

Over the last several years many educational studies have been done to prove the benefits of children / students who are or have been exposed to the computer environment. The results of the these studies agree that a child's thought process and creative thinking improve dramatically when using basic computer programs. Studies have shown that young children who are the beneficiaries of early exposure to computers score on average 15% - 18% higher on school testing. With many of our schools not meeting the NCLB Federal standards we are looking for educational instruction methods outside the box. We believe that early childhood education is an important factor in improving the education in our students lives.

The Mayan children in the outlying areas of Barillas, Guatemala have to wait many years for an opportunity to attend a public government school. In many cases the children must wait until Marysville Rotary and Hands for Peacemaking arrive to their village and build a one room schoolhouse in order to attend and many of these schools only have the resources to provide instruction until fifth or sixth grade.

By creating a Computer Language programming course in our local High School we will be able to provide young adults with skills needed in the 21st Century. Also, by creating a school XO repair facility are students will acquire computer and technology skills requested by many corporations in our local geographical area, such as Boeing, Microsoft, and Bio-tech firms.

By our students creating programs in the different dialects of the Mayan people and the Lushootseed language this will assist many organizations throughout the world, by allowing more access to the XO world.

Although the early steps in programming can be accomplished using emulation, we are also evaluating the XO system and the interaction with the students. We will be testing how simple to operate, which age groups will most benefit, what limitations the XO systems has in regards to the environment around it, does the system engage students to learn - by themselves - with others - with teacher interaction.