This project will be a small grant to obtain books and furniture for our school's newly constructed library, and include sustainable practices such as library development and teacher trainings by partner organizations. Currently, the library is mostly empty except for bookshelves, a few desks, a table, and a chair. A diverse and educational array of books is needed to support the literacy initiatives planned to take place in the library and to ensure its continued success. This project will have a hugely positive impact on the learning environment at the school where resources are low but eagerness to obtain knowledge is high. Having access to culturally-relevant books will inspire the pupils to work hard in school. A good selection of books can have the power not only to inspire, but to present knowledge in a way that makes reading attractive. For the teachers, a larger selection of textbooks and readers will make their lessons much more effective and engaging, and save them countless hours of having to write each and every passage on the chalkboard when they can just instruct their pupils to all turn to the same page. Books provide a window into the outside world and a positive outlet to spend time. Books that people read in their childhood are known to stay with them throughout their lives.
As a girls-only school, it allows the girls in the community to have equal access to educational and co-curricular opportunities that they may not have access to at a mixed school. This focus on girls means that they are the ones who make up all of the sports teams, music teams, spelling bee teams, etc. Our surrounding school community is made up of largely low-income families who struggle to pay small fees for things like exam papers and report cards. Although the school struggles with funding, the teachers are all dedicated to providing a high-quality education for their classes with whatever methods are within their means. A grant for books would mean that teachers would have more textbooks and readers to supplement their classes and the pupils would have access to storybooks that pique their passions and imaginations. A well-stocked library would also mean higher pupil attendance and enrollment, leading more funding through the government grant. Though low on resources, this community is one that prioritizes education and invests in their youth, so having access to books would aid the school in achieving these goals.
The teachers at the schools are the ones who will decide which types of books are needed at the library because they are the ones with experience and cultural knowledge. Their expertise will be critical in ensuring that the book selection will reflect the specific needs of the school and be received at fair prices. They know the best places to purchase textbooks, readers, and storybooks and have the cultural sensitivity to choose which books will best inspire and educate their readers. Without this strong community buy-in, this project would not be feasible. This project will directly support the teachers by providing them with resources to use in their classrooms that help to target pupils of various learning abilities. They support more inclusive classroom styles, which not only makes the teachers' jobs easier, but allows them to reach more pupils. More books means more reading, and more reading typically leads to higher literacy levels, better vocabularies, and more confidence in children. In addition, formal capacity building will be supported in library development workshops which teachers can take with them to each school that they work at.
Through training, the community will be able to sustain not only the preservation of the physical books, but the engagement in various school literacy initiatives. The teachers and pupils will be instructed on how to sustain the library's development through the coming years, and the books will all be carefully selected against a strict criteria that will ensure their usefulness does not diminish.