library pilot project
RISE received a grant from BP Angola to establish libraries in several RISE schools as a pilot project – children need access to books and information. The first two were established in June 2016, at Jimba-Silili and Kuquema, and three more at Bundiangolo, Tomas Ferreira and the Bocoio Secondary School in April 2017. Space designated for the library at each school was transformed into bright, engaging child-friendly rooms with books, maps, posters and educational games. Faces of kids peered in the windows and door, curious and excited. Students were captivated as they were read to…one little girl gasped as each page turned, never having seen anything like it.
Literacy data was gathered using the Early Grade Reading Assessment. Basic fluency only begins in 4th and 5th grade in rural areas, and is impacted by parent’s inability to read, as well as the lack of available printed materials. Access to books and materials can change the future for many – one teacher shared that “they are excited for the kids, but also for themselves.” Training was given to teachers and administrators, and to the community as their support and involvement is critical for success, fostering the habit of reading and love of learning. There are no libraries in the nearby town of Kuito, nor in any surrounding villages – these are the first books, other than basic textbooks, that children have seen and touched.