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Street Library introduces Free Voluntary Reading (FVR) in Ghana.

February 5, 2016; 11:09 am

Sapeiman, Ghana.

Ghanaian organisation, Street Library Ghana has introduced the Free Voluntary Reading (FVR) program in the community of Sapeiman, in partnership with Child Care and Development Centre (CCDC), a school within the Greater Accra Region as part of its Sapeiman Literacy Project for 2016.

Free Voluntary Reading (FVR) was introduced by Dr. Stephen Krashen in his book “The Power of Reading” in 1993. It is the idea that you read for your own enjoyment.

For children at school it means encouraging them to choose a book of interest and reading it until the end. There should be no assessment questions to answer, book reports or be tested on what they read. This type of reading should induce pleasure in the reader and increase their literacy development.

FVR is an effective means to increase literacy and language development amongst learners’, as it impacts their reading comprehension, vocabulary, grammar and writing. It is proven that students who read more have lower writing apprehension than those who don’t read a lot.

Dr Krashen is a Consultant to The Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation Limited, funders for the Sapeiman Literacy Program.

The Sapeiam Literacy Project, being run on the principles of FVR aims to improve literacy among children, and instil a love of reading by providing regular access to books and reading activities as well as the provision of a conducive and attractive environment that stimulates reading.

The approach to the Free Voluntary Reading program differs from the normal reading activities done around the country. With the Street Library approach to FVR, classrooms of the participating school are redesigned. This is done to create a conducive and a pleasant atmosphere. Also there is a wide selection appropriate and level significant books available at easily accessible location in the classroom.

Free Voluntary Reading is an initiative whereby children are encouraged to read and improve their overall literacy levels. SLG recognises that not all students can read at home due to unfavourable home environments for reading and also interruptions from younger siblings, relatives, work, house chores, poor light or heat. The objective therefore is to create an environment suitable for children to read freely in the face of these challenges in their classrooms.

Friday’s event was an Open Day, organized to generate local interest in the program and officially launch the program.

In front of the gathered community, the day began with children reciting poetry, before moving on to speeches by local leaders, Hayford Siaw, Founder and President of Street Library Ghana, Mrs Henrietta Tengkorang, the Founder and Director of the Child Care and Development Centre. The addresses welcomed the initiative and stressed the importance of education and reading. Several hours of registration and reading activities followed before the formal launch of the Sapeiman Literacy Project to teachers, Students Community leaders, and distribution of a very well-deserved lunch to the children marking a close to the day’s activities.

According to Hayford the day was significant to introduce the specially trained Teachers to the Parents and the entire Community. He indicated, ‘’FVR is unique and hopes this will be replicated in other communities and schools in Ghana as a whole’’. He further reiterated Street Library Ghana’s readiness to provide technical support to schools and other institutions ready to introduce the FVR concept.

Prior to the event, Teachers from the CCDC were taking through a training program on the implementation of the program and how to engage children in reading and literacy activities. They also received training on the organization’s child protection policy.