More reporting on vacation classes in Ghana libraries

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The classes continued this past week with yet another impressive performance in all the libraries. The children are indeed enjoying the classes hence the continual daily increases in attendance.

The nursery and lower primary classes this week continued with more spellings and pronunciation of two letter words, three letter words and four letter words. Going round the three libraries and monitoring them, I can say for a fact that these children are picking up speedily, in other words they are able to spell and pronounce words on their own after they have been taught by their teachers. The teachers using a book title "I want to start reading" A helpful reading book made simple for beginners Volume II, by S.Y. ADOBOE which I recommend to them, taught and explained the vowels and consonant phonics to the children, and then to the spelling, pronunciation and how to write these words. The book also contains short comprehension reading relating basically to the words (two and three letters) being spelt which teachers sometimes read aloud for the children to read after them. At the end of each day, fill in the gap or missing letters exercise are usually given to children to test their understanding levels, and guess what these children always scored very good marks. But of course there were few others (the children) who still have difficulty in mentioning both the two and three letter words. But overall performances from this class have improved significantly. Thanks to the respective teachers of these children in all the three libraries.
The Upper Primary classes also continued to read more stories books with their teachers in the respective libraries. The overall individual reading ability/ capacity have seen more improvement. At the beginning of the classes a good number of pupils were having difficulty in reading or mention some words, but the situation have seen some positive changes just after the few weeks the classes begun, at the start of the classes I assured everyone that they will all be able to read and read well before we bring the classes to a close. I encouraged everyone not be afraid or feel shy; I may say something and they will laugh at me, they should be ready to make the mistakes and get corrected than to keep quiet and yet go back home and to their schools with same mistakes, it is not helpful! And so the patrons took this advised seriously and begun to participate actively in every single activity or question that is been asked, some are there, at times they sincerely don't know the answers to some questions being ask but for the advice to always try, they do try their best to say something. For instance, I asked one day at the Sumbrungu library for the spelling of 'phlegm' (the sticky fluid blown out from our body through the nose and sometimes the mouth).  Many hands went up, I selected a few of them to spell, guess what, spellings like flem, flemm, flewm among other were what I got. Only one class 4 pupil by name Cletus Anamyire of Eureka Academy got the spellings correct, the rest including the JHS pupils were not able to spell. So from that day to date, almost every one can now spell that word correct, so as a result of active participation and contributions during reading times, pupils have improved speedily on their reading abilities.
The JHS pupils continue to read more story books also with their subject courses, they have also improved upon their reading and learning skills.
Over the week at the Sumbrungu library, pupils/students were also taken through riddles that requires some little critical thinking to be able to respond on the part of these children, some children were very fantastic, the ease in coming out with the right answerers for the riddles was just amazing. Some of the riddles that were learn in the week below;
1.      Mr. Y has 12 wives; each of the twelve wives has four daughters and each of the four daughters have seven sons. Who is Mr. Y? Ans. Year
2.      I am a five letter word, when you take me in full I am a talent in human, when you remove my first letter I become dead, when you remove my second letter I become ill. Who am I? Ans. Skill
3.      I am an animal, when I am young I have yellow feathers, when I grow I become dark. Who am I? Ans. Duck.
4.      I'm one of the things needed for most works, when you buy me I'm black, when you use me I become reddish in colour, and when you throw away, I become gray. Who am I? Ans. Charcoal.
5.      I am in you but you hardly use me, but every day, everyone that knows you uses me. And when they use me, you give them your attention. Who am I? Ans. Name.
It was interesting how some pupils were able to answer these riddles with ease. Some pupils were given the opportunity to come up with riddles for their colleagues to answer, to which some came up with good riddles full of lessons. In this particular session of the classes, all the pupils/students are usually brought together in one class. It is normally a time for laughter and fun as the answerers' flows sometimes in a funny way.
I also shared a number of stories over the week with patrons; the greedy dog, Wiser than you and Mama fatter Toad. All were full of great lessons to be learnt.
We are planning of having a grand celebration day to mark the climax of the classes !

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Books, reading, and libraries relevant to Africa by Michael Kevane, co-Director of FAVL and economist at Santa Clara University.

Other contributors include Kate Parry, FAVL-East Africa director, FAVL Burkina Faso representative Koura Donkoui, FAVL Burkina Faso program manager Krystle Nanema, and FAVL friends Emilie Crofton and Elisee Sare.

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