The Cocoa Communities Library Project (CCLP) has been launched in Adugyama in the Ahafo Ano Southeast District of the Ashanti Region.
A statement issued by Participatory Development Associates (PDA) and copied to the Ghana News Agency said the project was to promote reading in rural communities and improve reading literacy skills among pupils at the basic school level in 10 cocoa growing communities in the Ahafo Ano Southwest and Ahafo Ano Southeast Districts of the Ashanti Region.
It said about 100 community participants, including the District Directors of Education and representatives from the local government agencies, community leaders, head teachers, project patrons, and children from schools within the 10 targeted communities, attended the launch of the project at the Ahafo Ano Southeast District Assembly Hall.
The statement noted that the two-year project, which was being implemented by PDA in partnership with Magic Libraries Foundation, aims to contribute to Ghana’s efforts to promote reading literacy and will provide a well-resourced and conducive reading environment for children in rural communities.
It said the project’s goal was to refurbish community cluster libraries and provide access to 5000 books through mobile library services and weekly reading sessions in the target communities.
It said two community cluster libraries had been refurbished and re-opened by the project partners and were now ready to serve other communities.
It noted that smaller communities had been presented with “Library-in-a-Box” – which would allow children to practice reading on a weekly basis with the support of schools, teachers and community members.
The statement reiterated that the Cocoa Communities Library Project targets 1,000 children and expects to improve children’s reading proficiency and comprehension skills through weekly reading sessions, peer learning and reading competitions.
It said other expected outcomes for children include enhanced self-learning, confidence, imagination, and expressiveness, as well as making education a fun and preferred option for children instead of illegal mining (“galamsey”) and child labour in the districts.
It said one sample of “Library-in-a-Box” for mobile library services was presented by Mr Edem Agbe, the Managing Director of PDA, to commemorate the launch.
Mr Agbe reiterated his hope that this project would complement efforts to promote reading in community schools.
The statement said the community launch was the first in a series of activities planned to ignite the passion for reading and enhance children’s reading and comprehension skills in the targeted communities.
“We are very happy that this project has been received so well by the districts,” Mr Agbe said.
“It is obviously well understood that our efforts will complement the work of the schools, the homes, and the communities in building a passion for reading in these young ones.”
Mr. Hamid Kramor, the District Director of Education for Ahafo Ano Southeast district, appreciated the partners for the idea and the donations.
“This project is meant for schools in ten communities, but we know that it is for all the schools in our districts,” he stated.
“We will replicate this model so that all our schools will be filled with children who are excited about what books they can read next.”
Sharing her views in a brief documentary introduced at the launch, one child from a school in the Ahafo Ano Southwest district said, “We are grateful to Participatory Development Associates and Magic Libraries Foundation. These books will improve our performance in the BECE.”
The statement said the launch was the first in a series of activities designed to ignite the passion and skill of reading and comprehension in young children in the target communities, leading to enhanced academic performance.
It said an inter-school and inter-community reading competition, scheduled for mid-October 2023, as well as an annual reading festival scheduled for November 2023, would further encourage literacy within the target districts.
Participatory Development Associates (PDA) is a social development, project management and advisory organization that is based in Ghana and works across Sub-Sahara Africa.
Founded by Bob and Yuko Harris in 2016, Magic Libraries Foundation is a Swiss based organization, headquartered in Geneva, whose mission is to promote education through reading.
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