“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Sarah’s blog 3/4/21

The above quote is by Dr Seuss. I have spent many a tongue-tied evening over the years reading the silly rhyming books to my children. Favourites like ‘Cat in the Hat’, ‘Green Eggs & Ham’ and ‘Fox in Socks’.

Reading for young children should be engaging and fun. Books should have great pictures to be able to talk about and get clues to the stories. Young children can pretend they are reading and they’ve learned to turn the pages and follow the words with their fingers from left to right by watching others. This is even before actual reading begins.

So if you’ve missed out on this stage because there were no books at home and your parents are illiterate (so couldn’t read to you even if you had a book) how much of a disadvantage do you have? How many hours of pre-school ‘reading’ have you missed out on?

Even schools in rural Northern Malawi don’t have many books and resources. How are children supposed to learn to read if they don’t have books to practice reading? That’s why we have started the ‘School Literacy Project’ to put boxes of donated books into schools local to the Foundation.

When we receive donated books, we sort them into different age groups. We have labels to put inside each book saying it’s been gifted as part of the ‘School Literacy Project’. A box will contain at least 50 books and also strong polythene bags and a note for the teacher. These books can be taken home and enjoyed with the child’s family, taken back to school and swapped for another. Children will hopefully read aloud to younger siblings, who will see that reading a book is a normal everyday activity. We are even hoping that it may help adults be more open to attending literacy classes when we have the resources and funds to implement this.

The aim of this project is to improve the reading age of all children in the far north of Malawi. Levison will deliver these boxes of books round the local primary schools as fast as we can send them. Class sizes are between 50-80 children. As books are donated, the only cost to this project is the polythene bags to protect the books, the labels and it costs £15 on the container to send each box of books. £15 isn’t much money for the gift of reading, enjoying books and learning. I remember the head teacher at my eldest son’s first school saying ‘I might not know how to fix a car, but if I can read then I can teach myself.’ Improving reading levels the key to these children’s futures. If you would like to support this project then please get in touch. Together we are changing lives. Sarahx

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