A library is an important part of any community that values education. But in a place that has low literacy rates and no culture of reading, it takes some work to make the library an integral part of the community.
At the Hand in Hand for Literacy Community Library we recognize the work that it can take to build a culture of reading. In the past, we’ve held spelling bees, poetry readings and quiz competitions. One of our long-time volunteers and supporters, who spends time each year volunteering in the library, saw a need for teachers to learn new skills for teaching reading and ways to engage their students with the library.
With the help of St. Thomas Aquinas Church through Friends of Challenging Heights, the library staff held a workshop for teachers from 20 local schools about different techniques to use to teach reading. Skills covered included extensive versus intensive reading, ways to increase motivation to read for pleasure, theories of pedagogy and ideas for student-centered activities. The teachers, of English and Fante, engaged in lively discussions about the various topics and were excited to take the skills back to their own classrooms.
The workshop also continued beyond just teaching skills and included an introduction to the community library and ways for the participants and their students to engage with the library. We hope that transferring the skills needed to make the library a fun and enjoyable place to be to the teachers, that they will also be able to instil these habits and values in their students.
We’re proud of the library’s growth and the place that it holds in Winneba’s community and we hope that it’s role will only continue to expand as more children learn the joys of reading.