In December of 2014, the Yonso Project held its first ever Reading Project training sponsored by the Chen Yet Sen Family Foundation as part of the Reading for All program. During the week-long program, the Yonso Project sponsored an educational expert to train 42 teachers, parents, and students in teaching methods that make reading an enjoyable activity, rather than the laborious task it is often portrayed as in traditional Ghanaian schools. These methods consisted of reading games, such as spelling bees, story-telling, and word-to-picture matching games, which show students that reading can be both educational and fun!
The results of this effort have been phenomenal! Across the board, in schools both with and without Yonso Project libraries, teachers have noticed huge increases in students’ eagerness to read. One teacher in the Dadease primary school, where the Yonso Project eventually hopes to establish a new library, reported that never before had he seen students checking out more than two books from the school’s meager supply of storybooks, and returning them within days to take out even more!
Another teacher, Amoah Charles, who teaches 5th graders at the Tano-Odumase school in the rural Sekyere South District of Ghana was a participant in the Reading Project’s pilot training program as well. Mr. Charles has been applying the teaching methods he learned from the educational expert who ran the training in his classroom. From teaching reading through pictures to using story-telling to help students practice English and summarize readings, the new methods Amoah Charles has employed have inspired a love of learning and reading in his students. Whereas Mr. Charles found that traditional Ghanaian teaching methods often left students bored and discouraged about reading, he now finds that his students are eager to come to class and share the books they have read that week. Amoah Charles is glad to have had the opportunity to learn about these new teaching methods and proud of the progress of his students!
We hope to use the Reading Project will increase interest in reading among students, guaranteeing that when the Yonso Projects brings libraries to rural communities, these libraries will be put to good use. In tandem with the rural libraries, the Reading Project will serve to increase the number of readers in areas where the literacy rate can be as low as 50%. With your continued support, we hope to grow the the Reading Project every year in order to demonstrate to even more rural Ghanaian youth that reading can be fun!