Vacation reading classes in libraries in Upper East, Ghana

Paul Ayutoliya writes:

The free vacation reading classes started on the 6th of August 2018 in all the three community libraries. The attendance has been very encouraging and full of fun moments. The whole week have been spent on reading different kinds of story books. Story books read so far includes; Amoako and the Forest, David’s Day at the Mine, The Lucky one, Maria’s Wish, Peters Wish, Out goes to Sea, Hanatu the Seamstress Learns to Read, Diana a Hairdresser Learns to Read, My grandfather is a Magician, The pot of Wisdom, The teen princess by Diana B. Mcbagonluri, Tales for school children among other books. This books were mainly read by the young adults who are normally put into four (4) main groups of seventeen (17) or more participants in each group. Each group among the four is normally given a particular set of story books different from the others groups. At the end of the time given to all groups to read, participants will be called to come together at the women meeting hall now known as the Roden Conference Hall. Each group will present two representatives of their group to share with the other groups what they have learnt after which same group members will add if any vital lessons is left out before their other colleagues are allow to asked questions or also make contributions to the story. This exercise goes round like that till all groups have taken turns to do their presentations before the respective volunteer teachers who are usually assign to the respective groups will also give a summary and moral lessons from the story book read. As this exercise is going on with the young adults, the children are also divided into two groups inside the library handle by one other female volunteer assistant with Ms Florence the assistant library. The number of children are quite great too, each of the two groups always have about 20 children in each of the two groups bringing the total number of children to 40 at least in each day. They are normally taken through the simple sentence story books like All about Ama, pronunciation of three letter words, four letter words, the Fati series, Cats and Dog series and other interesting activities. The one week of the reading classes have been a great and interesting week as we have parents, representatives from Cesrud and other visitors coming over to the Sumbrungu Community library to see what has been going on.

On Wednesday and Thursdays, Cesrud director paid us a visit. On Thursday, he spend  good time with participants of the reading classes and even taught some of the groups on sounds of words and how to pronounce certain words correctly, he went round all the respective class groups observing how things are going on. He admonished all participants to make reading a priority, the more they read the more they will be well positioned to respond to any question ask them whether at school or any place. The education coordinator also came around twice to observe how the classes were going on. We have four other volunteer teachers helping us in handling the reading classes in Sumbrungu library. We record at least 110 participants each day at Sumbrungu library since the start of the classes. Every early morning, I read with participants striking stories from story books like the Teen Princess, Reward of labour, the Greedy dog and others before the normal group classes.  Most participants always come early in order to partake in the morning reading before their group readings.

The story is almost the same at the other two libraries save that the participants are not as many as we have at the Sumbrungu library, I visited the Gowrie and Sherigu library yesterday to see how the reading classes were also going on. At the Gowrie library participants were reading Diana, a Hairdresser Learns to read, the lucky one and other stories when I arrived at the library. I spend some time there and read one of the Literacy Changed my Life series with participants, the librarian was at post making sure every activities there too goes on well. From Gowrie-kunkua library I continue my monitoring tour to the Sherigu library, participants were also seen in their good number reading different kinds of storybooks under the guidance of the librarian. So in brief, the reading classes has begun well and getting more interesting with more fun as the days goes by.

In Sumbrungu library today Friday we climates the week with a quiz competition between the young adult girls and boys. Questions were set from the story books read so far from the start of the classes, general knowledge and riddles. The boys won the competition at the close of day with 51 points as against the girls who garnished 40 points. Motivations such as pens, pencils and candies were given as prizes to the respective four contestants from each side. This exercise is likely to continue every Friday till we end the classes at the Sumbrungu library.