We are proud to announce that Joseph Adams has received a full scholarship from I.S.A.B.T. to one of the most prestigious private schools in the central region of Ghana. The Flower Gay School. Joseph has won 38 awards already so we are happy to support his education even further by providing all of his book and school supplies to ensure he does his best work in the classroom. Keep up the good work Joseph!
This summer we were blessed with the opportunity to work with Sue Gonzalez, a teacher from San Francisco who traveled to Ghana to set up a new book club in the Central region. Her project was a great success, helping many students to share their stories by publishing them into books that can be read by children around the world.
"As a special education teacher, I am continuously searching for meaningful ways to inspire my students to improve their literacy skills. I teach students with learning disabilities who often find school a frustrating place to be. This summer, I traveled to Elmina, Ghana to begin a global connection of an International Book Club where students from my school as well as the Bantuma School in Elmina would have the opportunity to author and publish their own books to share with each other and with children around the world through the website bookclub.realelibrary.com.
For three weeks, I volunteered at Bantuma School teaching writing through a writer’s workshop process. Working alongside an amazing librarian, we had 37 students, from grades 4 through middle school, participating in our book club. It was such a humbling and inspiring experience to teach the Ghanaian students who came to class each day with such passion and unwavering motivation to write their own stories.
Since the students are accustomed to rote learning, teaching a creative process was challenging yet very rewarding. I started every lesson with a read aloud, a mini lesson about the writing process, time for writing and finally a time for students to share ideas. Traditionally, these students do not have much classroom time for discussion. It was amazing to listen to them discuss character and plot development with each other. After each discussion, they had the opportunity to share an appreciation. This was also a new experience for them.
One of my most memorable days was when I brought the markers and crayons out for the students to illustrate their stories. Usually, the students were very serious in class. But, on this day, they had the biggest, most beautiful smiles! The students had never seen so many choices of colors before. Since we had lots of markers, each student was able to keep as many as they wanted at their desk. It was fun to watch a student try to hold on to 15 markers in one hand while trying to illustrate with the other hand.
On the last day of the Book project, we celebrated with a party and each student was given their own book. The students were beaming with pride and were so excited to have the opportunity to take their books home to their families! It was a very memorable day for me and the students who worked so hard in the Book Club.
During my stay, I had the opportunity to see a baboon sanctuary, visit with a Chief from a rural village and eat traditional fufu with the Headmaster of Bantuma School. Although I had so many amazing experiences during my fellowship, it was through the students’ stories that I gained a deeper understanding of life in Ghana. These students appear to be so joyful and spirited, but through their stories, I understood their worries and fears as well as their hopes and dreams for a brighter future."
Thank you Sue for your wonderful work and caring heart!
The spring Coconut is here!
In this edition of our newsletter we talk about our Book Drive for Africa where Thirty-five thousand educational books were successfully delivered to over fifteen schools in Ghana, the addition of a new board member to our team, share lots of great pictures from Ghana, and include a short write up about the growth of our International Book Club Program.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of our volunteers the shipment of over 35,000 educational books has arrived safely in Ghana. Overcoming many obstacles we were able to transport the hundreds of boxes of books to schools in desperate need of reading materials.
We wish to extend a special heartfelt thanks to Dianne Lynch for traveling to Ghana and assisting with the exhausting shipment container clearing process. She is a shining star and a true literacy hero!
I.S.A.B.T. made book donations to our partner schools in three regions of Ghana. Many of these schools had no books to speak of. In all, over fifteen schools received book donations that will allow them to host their own small libraries on site.
The importance of education in the process of economic and social development cannot be over emphasized. It is our hope that these books will become vehicles of learning that will open up windows of opportunity for our young friends.
"Prof. Kobina Yankson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, buttresses this that more than 50 percent of the Ghanaian population are illiterate, accounting largely for Ghana’s low level of development." http://www.modernghana.com
"Impressionable minds can be nurtured and molded in ways more than one. But books and the printed word are among the best tools used for reaching out to a child. Despite the deep penetrating reach of the visual media, books have a definite edge over other mediums of communication and entertainment. Child Psychologists and counselors have often stressed the importance of the reading habit in modern-day children." www.indiaparenting.com
The following schools received book donations;
Kpetoe CEPS L/A school complex, Adaklu Torda school complex, Akpokofe L/A school complex, Kpeleho L/A school complex, Saaman Birase Prim. and JHS, Edinaman SHS, Elmina Methodist A and B JHS, Dwabor Prim. and JHS, Kakumdo Prim. and JHS, and the LEKMA Southern Cluster of Schools in Teshie.
Kathy Weir from Tomorrow's Stars assisted with our Gifting Ceremony in Elmina. She has been involved with many wonderful projects in Ghana and plans to work with one of the regional schools to build a large library using our donation as a foundation.
The successful delivery of all of the books to schools in Ghana is the culmination of six months of hard work. Many people volunteered their precious time and resources to ensure the African Book Drive's success. We would like to thank each and every person who donated books and materials, their time, talents, and energy to ensure that these books found a good home.