Paul Ayutoliya, FAVL-CESRUD library coordinator writes:
Rex Asanga, Cesrud Director, was able to get support from an NGO called Biblionef Ghana. Biblionef Ghana was able to support 20 basics (Primary and Junior High) schools in Sumbrungu West B circuit with donation of story books for pupils and small shelves to stock the books. Selected teachers from the 20 schools were taken through a two days training by official of Biblionef who came from Accra on how to manage their school libraries, I took part in that training, Mr. Rex have asked that as I tour those basic schools with the libraries, whatever support or technical assistance they need that I able to support I should do so. I am hopeful this year that there is going to be more collaboration with teachers of the beneficiary school to help the young ones enjoy reading. Let me note that the school libraries only operate during school hours, during the night session many of the patrons from far who have develop interest for reading do join their peers at the Sumbrungu Community Library for reading and/ or learning.
Officials from Biblionef Ghana as part of the training workshop visited some the schools and interacted with pupils and teachers, they also paid a visit to the Sumbrungu Community Library with Mr. Rex. They were very impressed with the materials they saw stock in the library for users. They expressed their appreciations to the FAVL for the laudable initiative and promised to get the library either two desktop computers or laptops and other reading materials when they return this year in March to visit the school libraries and assess how the libraries are functioning.
CESRUD/FAVL Ghana community Libraries resumed work on the 9th of January 2018. All the three libraries were cleaned in order to get premises conducive for reading and learning to kick-start the new year. On January 11th, the three libraries were opened to the public. As expected for these earlier days at school, attendance in all three libraries was low for the first week following the break. However, by the second week, the patronage had increased. Many of the patrons were seen reading different kinds of story books, as well as playing games under the guidance of the librarians. During these first and second weeks at work, I was able to read a number of different story books with patrons.
Prime among the story books I enjoy reading and almost shared it all the time with patrons or pupils because the moral it has to patrons or pupils is entitled Teen Princess, written Diana Mcbagonluri. Here is a summary: Dede Nortey was a girl of many dreams. She was also intelligent as well as confident as a result of her hard work. Dede was always seen at the library with her best friend Naa. At the library they always read and exchanged different kinds of story books, and completed their home work. Dede balanced all these with her household chores. Dede was a little girl who had a very big dream. She wanted to be a Teen Princess and she was prepared to overcome any challenge to achieve this dream. But as Dede was soon to find out, dreams can be very different from reality. The odds were against Dede the moment she entered the contest. At one point the only option left for her was to quit the contest, if she was to avoid embarrassment. But the words of her mother kept ringing in her head. These were the words of Dede’s mother to her long before she entered the contest: “You don’t need to paint your face to be a Teen Princess. What you need is your head.” And so with these words ringing in her head combined with her hard working spirit, she was able to overcome and be crowned the next Teen Princess. This particular story has a lot of challenging lessons to the young ones who want to be good readers and achieve whatever dreams they want to achieve in the future to work hard, no matter the circumstances, hard work pays.
All the schools I have since visited this year, what I do normally is to go with two copies of this particular story books; one will be given to the head teacher or his assistant to go through with me as I read to the students/pupils, whiles I’m reading and students/pupils are doing the listening, the teacher role is to normally put down some questions from the story, after I’m done reading, I will ask questions to assess the impact of the reading. They responses to the questions and contributions so far have been very great at the schools I have visited. Is an idea the teachers have embraced, news of this fruitful exercise have spread to other basic schools I’m yet to visit, teachers and pupils of these other schools expect to see me soon in their respective schools to talk to their students on the importance of reading and also share with students/pupils stories that will stimulate or trigger them to like reading. And so more tours to the basic schools around the community libraries and perhaps beyond are to be expected in this first quarter. Other books read include: Mumaizu and the Hippos, The Lucky One, Laali Saves the King among others.
This past week the librarians started reading and discussing Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor. Here’s some of their summary of the first part of the novel:
At long last after some strange and dreadful scenes and happenings noticed by Sunny; Sunny, Chichi and Orlu finally arrived at Anatov’s abode. Anatov after interacting with Orlu and Chichi took Sunny through some initiation rituals into the Leopard People (Leopard people are persons with magical powers or mystical true ability). Anatov drew a circle around Sunny with powder, and then traced a symbol in the air with his knife.Sunny was sore afraid at that moment. For a moment, Sunny was terrified. The serial killer called Black Hat Otokoto has been killing children, which was Sunny thoughts at that moment during the ritual performance by Anatov. Anatov charged Orlu and Chichi with Sasha to continue to take care of Sunny by way of teaching her the rest of all that she needs to know about the Leopard people and returned in four nights time, twelve midnight sharp with her. Sunny was told she has been initiated as a free agent into the Leopard people and fortunate on her part her spirit was in that line of a leopard person. Sunny purse was surprisingly heavy with chittim (currency of the leopard people) a sign of the rituals initiation at work.
And some comments on reading the novel:
Our thoughts on the novel so far, the novel appears a little bit easier to understand than the previous two novels we read, is full of news words. We learnt about the meaning and spelling of some words that in fact we are seeing for the first time. Words like; scrawny, flickering, puffy, blabbing, hazel and many others. We are hopeful by the time we finish reading the novel we would have learnt more words than we have seen and learnt so far. The novel so far is getting more interesting and we are continuing the reading in our quest to know after the initiations into the leopard people family, Sunny’s exploits. More reports on our further discussions will follow soon!