Happy Readers Literacy Projects into Lowveld Schools

Hi folks,

I want to tell you about an exciting new project we are working on as part of our education and outreach project.

Happy Readers is a fantastic series of books that teach children to read in the English Language in Grades One and Two.  They are specifically designed for the child in Africa and use wild animals as characters, with settings, stories and words that will be familiar to rural and urban children. As they progress, they bring in conservation messages, and engage the children to think of animals as more than a food supply, but rather as friends and characters!

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Developed in Zimbabwe and approved by the Ministry of Education, these books, which form a recognized and effective literacy scheme, have been adopted in over 400 schools in Zimbabwe.  Unfortunately, very few of those schools are in the lowveld and none are in the schools surrounding the Save Valley Conservancy and Gonarezhou National Park where we are implementing our environmental education and outreach projects.  These schools seem largely forgotton…

Hopefully however, and with your support, that could all change.  The developers of the scheme kindly donated us a set of books for one school and we have purchased books for one more.  Given that we are working in 118 primary schools, this may seem insignificant, but we have to start somewhere!

Here is Max Adams from the Happy Readers scheme handing over the books to a small rural school in Gonarezhou.

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This is the Grade 1 class of the other school that was given the books

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We have also been doing a few literacy tests in primary schools in order to get an idea of the reading ability of the rural children and I must admit it’s been a little depressing.

Doing the literacy tests…

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The reading standard of the vast majority of kids is at least several years behind what they should be, and many kids, even in Grades 4 and 5 cannot read at all.  Can you imagine your life without being able to read??  We simply have to get this scheme running in the schools to give these children opportunities in life.

They are not stupid, and they are hard working, well behaved children, but they simply do not have the resources to learn to read.  Would you be prepared to make a donation to help us get these books into the schools?  The average cost of a full set of books for a Grade 1 class is US$800.  It’s less for smaller schools and more for bigger schools because the books must be at a ratio of no more than 4 children per book.

Please take just a minute to make a donation to help these children who have so little.  You can donate by clicking on the DONATE button on the right of this page, or by following this link and clicking donate.  Whatever you can afford will help.  Every single cent will be put into buying and distributing these books and no matter how much you give you will be giving children the biggest gift you can – the ability to read.

Please help us to give these children a chance in life – give them the gift of education.

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Thank you,

Rosemary

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6 Comments

  1. Dana
    Posted February 8, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Rosemary – I would like to make a donation, but I don’t use PayPay. A few years back I send a check to AWCF here in the United States, but I can’t find a phone number or address on their website. Do you have a contact here in the States? I was in contact with Stephanie Romanach before, but I don’t know if she is the correct person anymore.

  2. Pirjo
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    I will send an extra donation at the end of this month. This is such animportant cause that one shouldn’t miss the opportunity to support it.

  3. Posted February 9, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    wow! this is fabulous Rosemary, we are so pleased the books are in the schools now! I can’t wait to get the full literacy test results back from Max, although it seems to be as we suspected with a low ability throughout the grades. And by the way everyone we donated 10 sets of the books, and Rosemary put in extra for the other 7 sets so that we could get into 2 schools and not just one! Rosemary you are a star!!

  4. Posted February 9, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Hi Dana,
    Thank you so much for wanting to support this project. Yes, Stephanie is still a good person to deal with. If you make a check out to African Wildlife Conservation Fund and send it to African Wildlife Conservation Fund, 10564 NW 57th Street, Doral, FL 33178, it will get to us. Remember that all donations are tax deductible, the FIN number is 26-0571535. Thanks!
    Rosemary

  5. Posted February 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Pirjo. You are a star as always :). Please just put a reference ‘literacy’ or something so we know it is for this project specifically. Thanks – we really appreciate it.

  6. Dana
    Posted February 10, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    This is such a wonderful project – a lot of times being able to read is taken for granted. I’ll get my check off in the mail tomorrow and will reference “Happy Readers Literacy Projects into Lowveld Schools”

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