Due to a lack of funds and resources in Zambia, most children are not able to reach a good literacy level. A good education is not accessible to the average Zambian child; significantly hampering their prospects of having a successful and prosperous future. ALERT, together with our partner Lion Encounter, have taken steps to address this issue in and around Livingstone, Zambia through offering supplementary literacy classes and providing reading material, which would otherwise be inaccessible to the children in this area.
Our curriculum is based on the Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) syllabus. This has been developed with the Sub-Saharan Child in mind, catering for varying levels of reading skill and English comprehension.
The children at Twabuka primary, one of our weekly book club destinations, have shown particular progress in the last few weeks. This school has a weekly attendance of between 10-60 children, which is determined by various factors that hinder these children’s ability to get to school. Our team has been working at this location since 2012, and the progress that we have seen over this time has been remarkable and encouraging.
During the last three weeks, the team conducted a number of activities including spelling and comprehension tests. In order to ensure that we cater for the diversity of reading levels in the class, we split everyone into groups and adjust the difficulty of the words accordingly. Since doing this, we have been able to monitor a child’s individual progress more accurately and encourage them by noting and applauding improvements.
This week, the children were taught how to write a letter. We told the children that all the wonderful books that we have in our library had been donated by kind people from all over the world who had read the books before them.
We asked the children to write a thank-you letter to these people, including some details about themselves, their families, and their school as well as to mention how the books have benefitted them. We assisted with the introduction and the format, but we loved the creativity and intuitive the children took during this task!
Those who wanted to could stand up and read out their letter, while others preferred us to read them out loud on their behalf. Most of the children wrote a full page, which was very impressive. The letters were brought back to Lion Encounter and given to Jackie Abell who aims to pair them up with a penpal in the UK.
We are excited to have introduced the skill of letter writing to the children at Twabuka as well as to give them an appreciation for the generous donors who make our book club possible. Contribute to this project or volunteer with us! The children at Twabuka look forward to meeting you!