Today I am thankful to be back at the literacy center (Last week we took a sick day).
I brought some books I found at a local bookstore with stories of people who look like them and experience things that are familiar to them – going to the market to buy cloth, pounding fufu, goats, banana and plantain trees and village life. (Honestly I find that most of the readers are about people who look like me and experience things these kids have never seen – snow, apple trees, even brownstone buildings and fire engines. How hard it is to gain reading comprehension when you have no frame of reference for these items!)
Oh they were so engrossed looking at the pictures and reading through the stories!
Then we did a special project. Hannah and Abby and I had made simple books for each child – just a few sheets of plain white paper folded in half and a piece of construction paper stapled around as the cover. We talked about the parts of a book – the cover, the title, the author. And then I had them be the author of their own stories! It was a delight to watch them struggle through it and come up with their own words and creativity. It was a great start. I was amazed at a few of the girls who filled up every page. None of them wanted to stop when it was time to go. (I’ll take that as a good sign.).
Also today I’m so thankful we finally have a dryer – they are really not popular here but we got a second hand one from a British Expat who was leaving !
(Yes, it pales in comparison to the importance of previously mentioned items, but it goes a long way to making this feel like home and normal.)