When was the last time you went back to your former school to do voluntary work? Well the NABU - EFAC Literacy champions decided to do exactly that. From western Kenya all the way to NorthEastern, scholars under the Education for All Children (EFAC) program gathered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, to join the first cohort as Literacy Champions.
Having finished their Secondary School education and waiting for the chance to advance to University, the eager scholars took this window to engage in Community Service. The Literacy Champions grouped together to find ways to nurture the love for reading in the young minds of learners in their former schools.
The NABU - EFAC Literacy Champions embarked on a remarkable challenge – to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment for schools within their communities. What they uncovered was a startling reality – a significant number of primary schools lacked libraries. Armed with determination and a sense of purpose, these champions were divided into 15 groups and reached out to 72 schools in their hometowns, many of which they themselves had attended. The outcome was transformative – they established 30 school-based reading clubs, breathing life into spaces where imaginations could flourish.
One of the cornerstones of their approach was the utilization of the NABU App, a tool that proved to be revolutionary in their mission. The app, equipped with enchanting tales, became an instant hit. The magical stories, available for offline reading, captured the young reader’s hearts, transcending language barriers with its rich variety of Kiswahili and English stories. The highlight of the week was the eagerly awaited two-hour reading sessions held every Friday.
Reflecting on the impact, an EFAC scholar shared, "Teachers in the school I was doing Community Service in, always told me that the pupils got really excited whenever they would hear that there would be a reading session. Some of the stories from the books are aligned with some of the topics being taught in class like the family tree." This sentiment underlines the remarkable resonance between the reading clubs and the school curriculum, enhancing learning beyond textbooks.
Teacher Vigilance from the New Hope Education Centre echoed this sentiment, saying, "My first interaction with the NABU App, I didn't understand it but after reading the stories, I found that it was very resourceful for our learners to improve their reading habits. I have seen growth since the Literacy Champions started coming to our school." The impact is incredible – the collaboration between the champions and educators has created an ecosystem that nurtures a lifelong love for reading.
The message from Cohort 1 of the NABU - EFAC Literacy Champions is a call to young people to give back to their communities in any way possible even if it appears small. It's a message that underscores the idea that investing in the growth and well-being of our communities is an investment in a brighter future for all.
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