Creating the next generation of readers
For teachers like Gifty having access to the right kind of books makes all the difference when creating the next generation of readers. Read her story.
I have been a teacher of English and Creative Arts here for the past 15 years. I am a reader myself, and I have read a lot of books. Books are very important, they help you learn a lot about life, the environment, and the world.
If I hadn’t had books, I wouldn’t have known much. Books open your mind; they help you to know a lot.
When I came up here to the villages in rural Ghana, I saw that most of the children did not have books and most of them were not even interested in reading. So I decided to organise reading classes after school. After the teacher finishes teaching their lessons, we stay for an hour or so and we read.
Our school has a partnership with Book Aid International and AfriKids. Book Aid International sends books to the schools AfriKids supports and to AfriKids’ mobile library. When the mobile library brings the books, the children will run out to pick their books, then they will come and sit and read. It helps because they can have different stories to read instead of reading the same book every day.
These books especially are so easy to read so when you give them these books, the children are very happy. They are easy to understand, and the pictures make them fun to read. Before this, some people brought us some books but they were above the children’s standard so we couldn’t use them. With these books, the children can read easily.
Most of the children have not gone to the coastal areas. Some of them don’t know what a dolphin or a penguin is, so when they see them in the books, they ask: “Madam please what is this? And I say “It’s in the sea” so with these books they get to know what the sea is and the types of animals that live in the sea.
Books like Diego Zoo show them what those animals are. They like the book, but they have only one copy of it.Gifty, Ghana
The most fulfilling thing was when the High School head teacher came to tell me that our past students can read and write. I was so happy. I told them, that it is the reading. When a child knows how to read, it is easy for that person to learn. Sometimes, the older students come back here to read. I’m so happy when I see the children. When I teach them and they can read fluently and understand what they read, I am very happy.
We are thankful to Book Aid International because they have made us very happy with their books. The children used not to like reading because the books they had were not that interesting. But the books they have provided have illustrations and when the children see the pictures, they are eager and happy to learn.
All images ©Book Aid International/Natalija Gormalova Video and Photography. With thanks to AfriKids.
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