Today's Reader is Tomorrow's Leader

At one of our primary schools, the library has been up and running for a while thanks to the previous PCV. Therefore, I thought that it would be a good idea to start a Reading Rewards program there in order to rejuvenate the kids' interest in reading. At our schools at least, the kids all seem to love competitions. So, this new Reading Rewards program seems to be just the thing to get them excited about reading.

I called the competition the “Big Five Readers” and made a chart for each grade that looks like a race track with clip art of the African “Big Five” animals on the track to show progression of who is winning. Each of the top five readers for each grade was assigned to one of the Big Five animals and I was tracking their progression of points each week on the race track. I was also awarding more points per book depending on the level of difficulty.

On the first days after announcing the competition, we were trying to open the library after-school and there were a ton of kids waiting to get into the library. After letting a few kids inside, it was soon pointed out by someone that there was a green mamba asleep inside the library. Suddenly, all hell broke loose and chaos quickly ensued... Kids screaming, adults trying to kill the snake with large sticks, people running over me. Eish! It was a mess... Thankfully no one was hurt, except for the snake, and we eventually got the library open.

For the competition, I decided to put up the posters in the library and I was writing the kid's names for each grade who are in the top 5. One day, when the library was open after school, I went to write the names of the top 5 learners for the week on the posters. As I was writing, all of the kids watched in awe and waited silently for me to finish writing the names. They were all excited to see whose names made it up on the board for the week.


Here are a few of my favorite book reports that I received from the competition...

Book Title: The Marvelous Treasure, Characters in the Book: Captain Polly Molly Macaroon. Question - Why do you like this book?: “I like this book because its about gold. Captain Polly Molly Macaroon hunted for treasure with her friends. I like this book because its make me now (know) about pirates and it will make me now (know) English.”

Book Title: Salem's Tails Back to School (Junior Novel). Question – Why do you like this book?: “I like this book because I know that school is important to me and other learners and school is your future. As the person I learn a lot in this book and go study. Thanks you. bye.”

Book Title: Swamp Monsters. Question – Why do you like this book?: “I like this book because she tell me Swamp Monsters can come eat your lunch.”


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“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.