Today, on International Literacy Day, we’re looking at how your donations to our Reading Programme are impacting children’s learning in Uganda!
In 2011, award-winning, children’s author Verna Wilkins paid us a visit in Masindi, Uganda. She quickly found that the majority of books in Ugandan schools are donated from abroad, and there are very few stories which reflect the children’s everyday lives. In response to this, Wikins teamed up with children in rural Uganda to create a unique story for them to read.
Set in Uganda, A Very Busy Day follows Eric and Jovia on an adventure through their rural hometown. Placing the people and landscape of the area at its centre, it’s an excellent text to inspire and empower Ugandan children through the presence of relatable characters. Verna Wilkins believes that this is central to increasing low literacy levels, explaining: “the presence of relatable characters can impact on a child’s desire to read.”
Every donation we receive to the Reading Programme sends two additional books out to the schools we work with in Uganda. These books are being used to train teachers in how to develop reading skills amongst young children in rural Uganda, as well as helping to encourage more children to enjoy reading for pleasure.
This summer, we delivered an Early Reading Training Workshop with 42 teachers and Headteachers in Masindi. During this session, we used A Very Busy Day to focus on reading methods that help children enjoy the story and maximise their comprehension. Copies of A Very Busy Day were then distributed amongst these teachers, who will now be able to share the story with their pupils.
One of the teachers to attend our reading training workshop was Hannah. Using the methodologies learnt at the workshop, Hannah read the story to her P2 class in their local language. Her pupils were then asked to retell the story to their classmates. The girls were thrilled to see familiar characters and scenes in the book, and were eager to share Eric and Jovia’s Ugandan adventure with friends!