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