For me, one of the most important aims for our school is to help children develop a love of reading. I know that this is an issue for schools and parents all over the world. There are many reasons why inspiring children to read can be difficult, but imagine what it must be like for our children, who never see anything written down outside of school. They don’t know anyone who owns a book and until they came to school they didn’t even know what a newspaper was.
Books, and the reading of books, is a weird thing that only a few strange people at the school do. In fact, as one of our teachers said, to be seen reading here, in this community, even to be seen reading a newspaper, could get you into trouble. People would tease you, or say “why are you wasting your time when you should be doing something useful”. It is really not easy to encourage a love of reading when there are no roll models in the community.
We also don’t have very many books, and that limits their options. It’s much harder to find that gem that gets a child into reading when there are not many to chose from. Perhaps the few books we have just leave the child cold, uninspired. This is why we are so grateful to those who send us books and our latest delivery came from Christina in Nairobi.
Christina and her children where packing up books that they had read, or grown out of, and offered to send them up to Olng’arua School. We were glad to accept but had no idea just how good the books she was sending would be. The books were great because they were books that her own children had loved. You could just tell they were books that had been read and enjoyed. There can be no better recommendation for a child’s book than another child’s enjoyment. When the books were unpacked they quickly disappeared into eager hands and were carried away to be explored.
From all the children at the school, who now have so many more books to chose from, we send a big thank you to Christine and her children for giving us their old books. They have found a very appreciative new home with us.