Last updateTue, 15 Aug 2017 10pm


My experience with Raising Readers

My experience with Raising Readers - img

Last week Saturday, Raising Readers took place at the Dansoman 3 & 4 School, Nasrawa (Dansoman) and was such an enlightening experience.

As soon as I got there, I was impressed with the number of children who had already gathered waiting to be read to. The Tigo and Cowbell banners gave the inhabitants an idea of some of the parties involved in this great initiative. Each volunteer had an opportunity to interact closely with the children, as there were chairs arranged in a circular fashion to enable direct contact with them. Ranging from grade One to JSS 2, each of the children were giving storybooks according to their classes. I had the opportunity to read with children from grade One.

I initially wondered how I was going to read with them, as they were little and were not very conversant with some of the words. In trying to figure out what strategy to adopt, I realized one thing: involving children in activities makes them feel a part of it, which in turn builds up their interest and participation. Going page by page, they read every line after me. Though it took quite some time, it was a priceless moment helping them improve their reading skills.

Occasionally, we spelt words together, just to ensure that we were on the same page. During the reading session, some volunteers as well as Nana Aba Anamoah (founder of Raising Readers Ghana) went around to serve the kids with refreshing drinks from Cowbell. The kids could barely hide their excitement, forgetting momentarily that the main agenda for the day was to read. As they took a brief break to savor their drinks, I had the opportunity to get to know a few of them better.

After a short while, we went back to reading and spelling. One thing that sustained their interest was the colorful pictures in the books, but after some time, they began to get distracted. We took another short break, this time to sing a song they had learnt from school. Re-energized, we finished up our reading and by 1 o’clock in the afternoon we had achieved a lot together, hurray!!!

The fun continued as Nana Aba engaged the kids in a dancing and singing competition. It was a hilarious moment, watching the kids come up with interesting dance moves and the skill with which they could sing along word-for-word to almost every song that was played. It was so interesting listening to them as they also tried to sing the National Anthem and recite the National Pledge with a few ‘potholes’. In all, it was a memorable experience and a great place to spend a part of my Saturday. Some of the children were also rewarded for being the best readers for the day.

Raising Readers is not just about going to read to children. It is also a great opportunity to make an impact in the lives of our future leaders, providing them with role models to inspire them.

By Alex Offei Lartey

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