Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

Date of this Version

2017

Abstract

Reading is an important aspect of literacy that improves academic performance in children as well as widens horizon. Hence, extending reading activities to rural communities enhances social inclusion and bridges the gap of service delivery between the children in the urban areas and the underserved communities. The essence of the summer reading program is to integrate literacy skills in children and build a community of children with love for reading. It underpins the relevant theme of sustainable development goals (SDGs) where no one should be left behind. The study highlighted the activities, resources, targets, lessons learnt and challenges of extending reading programs to community children. The project was carried out in Nawgu rural community in Anambra state, South East, Nigeria. It was an evidence based study that adopted qualitative and quantitative data collection. Interview was also used. There were joint planning meetings from the initial stage to the final stage of the project with 4 librarians, 8 officers of the non-governmental organization (NGO) and 7 volunteer teachers. There was advocacy visit to Nawgu Traditional Ruler for awareness, acceptance and supports of the project in his community. The project implemented story hour activities of read aloud, picture books, children movies, use of ICT, classroom subjects among others. 153 print resources were loaned from different libraries in the state. 5 computers, 1 projector and generator were used. 142 preschool, primary and secondary school children participated in the reading program. It lasted for five weeks. The lessons learnt were that the community children are really smart but lack activities and reading resources to enhance their literacy. They showed great intelligence and willingness to learn as the presence of varieties of reading resources nurtured and brought out the desire to read. Challenges encountered were geographical location, inadequacy of teachers and librarians, lack of energy to power the laptops and the projector. The study recommended collaboration, regular extension and engagement of library services to rural children for equitable quality education.

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