Early start to the day, the objective was to visit Kpilo School to set up a Reading Scheme for children in Primary School stages 5 and 6 and get them to read to younger children in stages 1 and 2. We wanted to get the children to understand the importance of reading and the difference it can make at home, school and whilst travelling to them and their families. The key message was to train the children how to read in a special way, which is fun and interactive so they could also read to the younger children and enjoy reading themselves.
We were already made aware of the sensitivity of introducing such schemes into schools and the interaction with the local teachers who often worry about being undermined or criticized. It was very important to us to get the teachers on board with Lively Minds.
Today was a lot cooler; it was the time of Harmattan blowing from Sahara. On the bike again, we whizzed passed clay hut villages, with many children smiling and waving, women going about their daily business, carrying water, food or cleaning rice.
We arrived there early and were greeted by the School Headmaster and his teaching staff. There were only 6 teachers for the entire school, they seemed nervous about meeting us. We introduced ourselves and met the full staff. We explained the value of Lively Minds and that it was there to support the students and staff, adding value to teaching and learning, not substituting it. It was nice to be greeted by teachers. The children were waiting in anticipation for us to arrive. In total, one class consisted of 48 children; only 4 girls were present. This reinforced the issue that Ghana faces in relation to education and participation of young girls and women.
My task was to demonstrate that reading could be fun and interactive. Equipped with a children’s reading book entitled Hippo’s Day I read the story to the children, often making them laugh through my imitation and facial expressions. It was great to see that every one of them was listening. They enjoyed the demonstration, the story telling, which engaged their imagination. Translating the story into local Dagbani helped them to be more receptive.
We promised to come back the following day with more stories.