Lubuto Library Project Newsletter -- April 2013

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Newsletter #32 - Click here for PDF version                                                 April 2013

Bringing knowledge and enlightenment to Africa's most vulnerable children and youth

New staff in Zambia: Precious Chisebuka

With recent grant funding we were able to identify and hire a new Program Manager to oversee implementation of our various programs and activities. Precious Chisebuka comes to us with strong grant, program and financial resource management experience. Her lovely personality and can-do attitude is making our Lusaka office hum already. Welcome Precious!

World Vision supports shipment of third Lubuto library collection

World Vision has given us the wonderful news that they will send our next library collection to Zambia through their extensive shipping operations. So we are busy putting the finishing touches on the collection for the Mumuni Library in Nabukuyu, Southern Province. We are planning with students from D.C.'s Gonzaga High School's AIDS Club to pack it up on June 1. The final step on this end will be getting the collection to World Vision's facility near Pittsburgh, PA. Our volunteers and book donors have worked for several years to build and catalog the collection, and we're all quite happy to get those books into the hands of Zambian children soon!

Under our All Children Reading (ACR) grant World Vision has already sent 30 OLPC laptops and 250 books to update the existing collections in Lusaka. We are so grateful that their support extends to our whole program, since our libraries, with great book collections, programming and outreach, are the 'incubator' for the technological and educational innovations of our ACR project.

Zambian experts guide our All Children Reading project

We have engaged Dr. Joseph Mwansa, a lecturer in the Department of Primary Education and the Department of Language and Social Services at the University of Zambia (UNZA), to review the LubutoLiteracy lessons on their effectiveness in teaching children to read in the language they know, their mother tongue. He is a member of the Zambian government's Literacy Committee, which is reviewing the teaching of reading in local languages to both children and adults. In addition to reviewing the LubutoLiteracy lessons, Dr. Mwansa will also assist with the development of tools to assess their mastery by the children who use them.

Dr. Mwansa has already assessed the 100 Bemba lessons (his language of specialization) and next will establish a new sequence of learning for them. The new approach will start with vowels, then introduce syllables and their application in making words and simple sentences. A phoneme sound board will follow. Then the lesson developers (teachers, language experts, programmers) will be taught the new structure for the lessons, and teachers will be selected who will make sound recordings of the words for each lesson.

Other Lubuto additions & transitions:

Longtime Lubuto supporter Kenlee Ray, retired Senior Information Officer at the World Bank, has joined our Advisory Board. And wedding bells have been ringing for our wonderful webmaster Michelle Campbell and our fundraising volunteer Emma Green.

Meet the Lubuto community: Margaret

Margaret is 10 years old. She lives in the community near the Ngwerere Lubuto Library with her father and stepmother, and says that the situation at home can be difficult sometimes. She has been coming to the library since it opened and remembers attending the exciting opening ceremony. She visits the library a few times a week and takes part in the LubutoArts, LubutoMentoring and LubutoDrama programs. Margaret says that she has surprised everyone, even herself, with how much her reading ability has improved since coming to the library. "At home even my father thought I never used to read," she says, "But one day I got a book and started reading. He was so happy and even said, 'well done.'" She says that her performance has improved dramatically in school, because before she could read, she could not understand the instructions which the teachers wrote on the board and she always got things wrong.

Please join us as a Sustaining Supporter

As a Sustaining Supporter, you will receive an email with each donation to keep you informed of Lubuto's latest developments, of which you are a key supporter. And as you know, this support gives thousands of children, who may otherwise never see the pages of a book, the opportunity to learn, communicate and grow in beautiful, safe and welcoming libraries, making a real and lasting difference in their lives. A modest donation charged to your credit card each month or quarter helps Lubuto tremendously.  
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