Perpetual, second from left during the reading reading festival at the regional level
Perpetual, second from left during the reading reading festival at the regional level

Unlock Literacy supports Early Grade children to Break into Literacy: The Story of Perpetual

Ten-year-old Perpetual is a World Vision Registered Child (RC). She is in grade three at her community primary school within the Krachi Area Programme. Perpetual is the third born of her parents but lives with her grandmother. 2 years ago, Perpetual’s parents used to help her read at home because she experienced some difficulties in reading on her own. This support was discontinued when her parents separated due to marital issues.

Consequently, Perpetual had to stay with her grandmother Aku, a tomato seller. This was at the time she was beginning to grasp the concept of reading.

Before the introduction of World Vision’s After-School-Reading club at Perpetual’s community, Perpetual like many other children in the Area programme could not read class-appropriate reading materials in the language of instruction.

Grandma Aku shared the effort she had been making to manage Perpetual’s emotions and get her grandchild back to school. “I have spoken to her severally and provided her basic needs but she said would not go to school. I would be grateful if you can come to our house and talk to her, maybe she would listen to you”, Grandma Aku re-counted her challenge during an Unlock Literacy Parental Awareness Workshop in Perpetual’s community,

Perpetual was then introduced to World Vision’s After-School-Reading club where she got the opportunity to improve on her literacy skills.

After-School-Reading-club is one of the components of the Unlock Literacy Project. It's organised for children after school and on weekends to build their literacy skills.  The trained community volunteers lead children through songs, storytelling and reading activities in their mother tongue. There are also book banks in the reading clubs where the children collect books and read at home. Currently, there are 45 after-school reading clubs with 70 trained community volunteers across the 20 communities in the Krachi Area Programme.

Challenged by her situation, Wisdom an after-school reading club facilitator where Perpetual attends reading club gave her special attention to overcome her emotional challenges by visiting her at home regularly and supporting her to read. Wisdom says, “Perpetual was not able to blend letter sounds and form new words with them”.

Perpetual’s attention was caught by her Class teacher, Madam Fletcher, a well-trained Unlock Literacy teacher who also gave her further attention to reading at school.

Now, Perpetual breaks through Literacy. She can now work with individual sounds, create new words and read simple sentences. “Initially, she could not read, but with continuous practice she can now read fluently and confidently and comprehend what she reads. Aside, she helps her friends to read at the reading club, at home and reads Bible in Church.” Madam Fletcher remarked.

During this year’s 2022 Annual Reading Festival conducted at both the municipal and regional levels in the Oti Region of Ghana, where the Area Programme is located, Perpetual was selected to contest for both her school and Municipal in the two competitions. Perpetual excelled well to the admiration of the audience. “I am happy that I can read now”, Perpetual expressed her joy when she was given the chance to talk.

The Municipal Director of Education in Krachi West Municipality, Madam Irene Jacquelinda Attabra, expressed her gratitude to Perpetual for her brilliant performance and thanked World Vision for introducing Unlock Literacy in the Municipality. She also used the platform to encourage all children, parents and teachers to keep embracing the Unlock Literacy Project since it has a lot to offer children to improve their reading skills.

Grandma Aku joyfully expressed her heartfelt thanks to World Vision and all the teachers for their support to bring her grandchild to this level.

Perpetual’s ambition is to become a lawyer in future and has now joined a Child Parliament in her community, where she serves as a Speaker of Parliament.