International Literacy Day with Caroline Kayoro
Caroline Kayoro works as a Project Officer here at Book Aid International. To mark International Literacy Day, Caroline has reflected on how the projects we run, especially Inspiring Readers, contribute to improved literacy levels across Africa and beyond.
“With our projects, especially Inspiring Readers, schools that have few or no books are able to set up functional school libraries run by trained and confident teachers. These staff members understand the role and importance of a school library and how it can benefit children and they realise how the resources can contribute to improved literacy levels and the overall school academic performance. Teaching resources are usually very scarce in these schools, so books are used to support teaching in a range of subjects and the libraries help to break the monotony of using one book or in some cases no book at all for illustrations and examples in class.
Through our programmes, children develop a positive attitude towards books and enjoy reading in school and at home. The books help them to dream and inspire them to think beyond their localities – they help broaden their minds, improve their general knowledge and their view of the world changes positively.
Their view of the world changes positively.
Teachers have reported that learners participate more actively in class because reading has improved their self-esteem and confidence. Regular reading leads to improved spoken and written English and children have improved in their comprehension and understanding of what they read. I think that every child is a reader, and the Inspiring Readers project has shown that when pupils have access to interesting and suitable books, they will enjoy reading and learning.
It’s such a joy to see the transformation in the older children who could not read before being able to a few months after receiving the new books. In most schools, children experience borrowing books to read for leisure for the first time through our projects, and the correlation between new books and improved literacy levels is clear.”