“I never thought I could be able to read and understand a story by my own,” says 11-year-old, 4th grader, Regatu. Regatu and her six siblings live with their farmer parents in the Habro District, Oromia Region, of Ethiopia, 406 km east of Addis Ababa.
Through World Vision’s sponsorship programme, Regatu has received school materials, and other household items at different times. But one of the things she is most grateful to World Vision for is establishing the Lugo Literacy Boost reading club near her home in September, 2014. Her participation at the reading club has enabled her to make big improvements in her reading skills and school performance.
“I never thought I could be able to read and understand a story by my own,” says 11-year-old, 4th grader, Regatu.
“Since the establishment of the club I have been regularly attending class at the club with two of my sisters and my brother,” says Regatu. “I have many opportunities to learn, identify letters, read and write.”
She adds that she managed to identify vowels and consonants shortly after joining the reading club. “On top of that, the teachers at the club are very helpful and we are not afraid to ask them anything.”
The Literacy Boost programme involves in-school activities and teacher training, as well as informal after-school and weekend reading clubs to reinforce and supplement the lessons children learn at school. According to Regatu, at the reading club children are allowed to practice reading and writing together, with the support of alphabet charts and pictures on the wall.
Reading various local stories in their first language is also encouraging children improve their reading skill. “We can borrow books on weekends and are given assignments on reading and writing by asking our parents,” says Regatu. “My favorite story is about a lion and rat. It is easy to read and the way the rat deceives the lion is impressive.”
Regatu has shown progressive improvement in her academic performance too. “Previously, my class rank was so bad that I was ashamed of it, but this year I stood second in my class in the first semester and I keep moving up,” she says. Regatu likes mathematics and wants to be a doctor when she grows up.
“I am amazed by the change my children have shown in their education since they began participating in the reading camp,” says Haji, Regatu’s father.
“I am amazed by the change my children have shown in their education since they began participating in the reading club,” says Haji, Regatu’s father. “Previously, they were not interested in their education at all, but now they always come home with books and read stories for us.
“They also ask us to tell them traditional stories and write them down to share with their friends.”
According to Seifu Legesse, Curriculum Process Owner of the District’s Education Office, the community is very happy and in support of the Literacy Boost programme as it is contributing positively to the school performance of their children.
Since 2014, through Literacy Boost and in partnership with the local community and school district, World Vision has opened 61 children’s reading clubs in the Habro District in collaboration with the District Education Office and the community. A total of 2,632 children – almost half of which are girls – are attending the clubs.
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 Literacy Boost is a copyrighted tool designed, developed, and owned by Save the Children.