Getting All Children Reading with LubutoLiteracy
Our new project, supported by World Vision through the multi-donor All Children Reading initiative (www.allchildrenreading.org), had its official launch on May 10th at the Ngwerere Lubuto Library. The event was our first opportunity to formally present "LubutoLiteracy: Zambian Teaching and Learning Materials for the Digital Age" to education stakeholders in Zambia, and guests were impressed by demonstrations of what we have done with the computer-based Zambian language reading lessons so far. Under the new grant we have engaged an expert from the University of Zambia to evaluate each lesson and create improved lesson content. At the launch, five new lessons (still in development) based on this new content, with sound and feedback mechanisms added to enhance their effectiveness, were on display. The launch also featured youth who have transitioned from beneficiaries to leaders and now are working as programmers and designers of LubutoLiteracy lessons.
As part of this newly launched project, the redesign of the LubutoLiteracy lessons is being guided by design standards for computer learning. We will also measure the lessons' effectiveness in teaching children to read and explore ways of making them available to all who could benefit from them - in libraries, classrooms, community centers and homes - through various digital media and in support of government distance learning programs. And in Lubuto libraries, children can progress from the lessons to enjoy the hundreds of first-rate Zambian language early readers in our collections, then on to the Zambian literature we are preserving on www.LubutoCollections.org and to a rich collection of English language materials as well.
Lubuto honored by Washington DC Library Association
Jane Meyers has been awarded the 2013 DCLA Ainsworth Rand Spofford President's Award for the Lubuto Library Project's development of high quality, open-access libraries for Africa's at-risk youth. Named in honor of a Librarian of Congress and first president of DCLA, the award recognizes outstanding achievements in the development or improvement of library and information services.
Finding their voices, and confidence, through LubutoDrama
Lubuto's efforts to evaluate our work through interviews and focus group discussions with library users and parents have confirmed that our programs and services not only help children improve their reading skills, they also boost confidence and self-esteem. Evidence of this was on full display during a LubutoDrama event held in late April featuring performances by the drama groups at both Lubuto Libraries. After delighting a crowd of more than 200 children and community members, participants eagerly lined up to speak to the audience about their experiences. "A long time ago I was a very shy girl, but ever since I joined drama and mentoring I became very active," one shared. "At times, they told me to sing and I ran away because I was shy, but now I am very confident and can stand in front of people and act or sing."
In memoriam: Eleanor Frierson
Our dear friend and active, long-term Lubuto supporter Eleanor Frierson passed away on April 30. She is sorely missed by her friends and colleagues in Washington and mourned as well by Lubuto's community in Zambia, including children in our libraries who made a film in tribute to her last year. An outstanding library professional, Eleanor was honored as Federal Librarian of the Year for 2010 by the Federal Library and Information Center Committee of the Library of Congress for her leadership at the National Agricultural Library and her service as chair of the Science.gov Alliance. She was a fundraising champion for Lubuto and support in her memory from her friends and her Rotary Club continues.
Meet the Lubuto community: Paul
Paul, aged 13, first came to the Ngwerere Lubuto Library because, he said, he wanted to learn to read. However he soon discovered that there were additional activities he could enjoy in the library and his participation in LubutoDrama and LubutoLaptops were his pathway to the wonderful books in the library's collection. He explains that, in the area where he lives, many children are disrespectful and fight with each other. He used to be one of those kids, but he tells us that his experiences in the library have changed his perspective. "I am a respectful child this time around," he explains, "I respect my mother a lot nowadays but before there were situations...when I could answer back."
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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