The Primary School Library project is focusing on providing the zonal school with a library in order to increase literacy rates, provide access to books and computers, act as a meeting space for clubs and community groups, and provide the teachers with a small office and a small lounge where teachers can break between classes, hold meetings, and work on lesson planning. The community will be contributing all of the bricks for the library in addition to the labour in constructing it, as well as several other building materials.
As for the impact this library will have on the community, we believe it will aid in increasing literacy rates and reading fluency among pupils, and allow teachers to have space to do their work for their classes. In addition, having a space for extra-curricular clubs to meet will inevitably make those clubs more consistent in their meetings, and provide pupils with afternoon educational activities. Having more involved teachers and students will provide those pupils with more tools to take ownership for their own education and begin to see beyond their classrooms and their village in terms of future education and work.
Within the community, individual students have been
attending a weekly Reading Club where they learn the value of reading, critical
thinking, and care and maintenance of books. Through this club, students of all
ages have access to the books the school already has and learn how to check a
book out, handle it with care, and put it back where it was found by checking
it in. One of these students is Charles. Charles is in grade 8 and every day
asks, "Today is Reading Club?" Charles has come every session, learned
the Reading Club system, and taught his fellow readers how to use the
books available. He has also increased his vocabulary by asking the definition
of words he doesn't know while reading. He has become a reading champion in the
school community and others look to him to learn more about books. The Primary
School Library will create a space for Charles to hone those reading skills and
help pass them on to other students. In addition, the library is a place for
students like Charles to study to pass his grade 9 exams and ask for help from
teachers with homework so that he can continue on to secondary school. Since
the teachers will be working on lessons in the next room, they are easily
accessible to the students in the library to help them or teach them when
requested to do so. With teachers, students, and community members using the
library, familiarity with library systems, proper book care, and critical
thinking will contribute to an increasing reading culture not only within the
school, but also throughout the community.