School/Community Library Project

  • Community Growth
  • Education
  • Youth
  • Ghana
This project is led by Danielle Ohemeng, a Volunteer from California

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Students, teachers, and members of the Peace Corps Volunteer's community have expressed making their school a more pleasing environment for education. The grant for this project will be used to create a library to enable students to access books and resources to help improve their English reading literacy and comprehension, as well as a place to perform educational studies and enjoy free reading. For the past year, over 1000 books have been gathered in one of the school's offices which contains one bookshelf with 10 compartments to store books, while the rest remain in boxes until space is made. Constructing a library will allow easy access to various levels of fiction, non-fiction, and reference books to help obtain the objective of improving literacy (reading and comprehending English). Once the materials have been acquired, the community plans to take care of the labor needed to build the structure, as well as establish a library leadership group to help students find books, dictionaries, and other resources in the library on a daily basis, as well as during vacation breaks. The school is part of a circuit that contains five other schools, none of which has a library. Therefore, the plan is for this library to be opened not only to the PCV's community, but also to those in the surrounding areas. Students will have the chance to practice reading with others and help others learn about a new resource that they will come across.

The school community has been very much involved in the discussions leading to the development of this grant. They shared ideas on what things they would like to see inside and outside the library. They want a store room for any new books that come in the future and for books that cannot be put on the shelves. The school headmaster suggested that, in addition to a door in front, a door should be added in back in case of emergency. For security purposes, the School Management Committee chairman gave the idea of burglar proof bars on windows and doors to prevent any break-ins when the library is not opened. During actual construction, the community will be divided into groups to perform in-kind labor to fetch water, mold bricks, and other necessary labor work. Additionally, some community members will be selected and tasked with the responsibility of managing the library during school hours and the holidays. Through discussions with the relevant stakeholders, three plans of action have been made to help sustain the library after the Peace Corps Volunteer ends her service. The first is to establish at least two treasurers within the library committee to manage any money gained from fees or donations. The money generated will be used to take care of any expenditures such as electricity bills. The second plan is there will be a registration fee for anyone not from the school to use the library and late return/book damaged fees. Finally, there will be some reliance on alumni and friends of the school to contribute to the maintenance of the facility and future restocking of books.

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