The National to Play Intimate Benefit Show Supporting Education for Guatemalan Girls

By James Pleasant

The National, who often sing songs about people’s dark sides, are shedding some light on social issues by donating the proceeds of their October 16 show at Los Angeles’ Troubadour nightclub to the nonprofit Cooperative for Education (CoEd), which aims to advance the education of girls in Guatemala.

The intimate show is bound to be a treat for the band’s fans, as they often play much larger, arena-sized venues. It will support the Thousand Girls Initiative, which was launched by The National lead singer Matt Berninger and his two cousins Joe and Jeff, who co-founded the Ohio-based non-profit, Cooperative for Education (CoEd).

“Almost 20 years ago my cousins Joe and Jeff Berninger quit their corporate jobs and started this non-profit,” said Matt Berninger. “CoEd has already reached more than 150,000 kids with textbooks and computers, and now they’re taking on girls’ education. I’m excited to join the effort to keep 1,000 girls from dropping out of school, which is so common in Guatemala.”

The organization hopes to reduce education-based gender inequality in Guatemala by enrolling 1,000 girls in CoEd’s Scholarship & Youth Development program by 2020. According to Co-Ed, 95% of students who finish middle school with their scholarship graduate from high school.

CoEd, founded in 1996, has made it its mission to help Guatemalan children break the cycle of poverty through education. The organization implements sustainable textbook, computer, reading and scholarship programs in Guatemala’s schools to help address the root cause of poverty in Guatemala—lack of education.

The Latin American country only has an 18% high school graduation rate, resulting in extreme poverty, illiteracy and gender inequality. CoEd aims to support and educate these marginalized populations so they can achieve success.

To learn more about Cooperative for Education or to support its programs, click here. Tickets for the National’s Troubadour benefit show can be purchased here.

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