Holiday Season Fundraiser Supports Literacy Project

  • Friday, December 4, 2009

    Kyamulinga School Literacy ProjectPRINCESS ANNE, MD Some University of Maryland Eastern Shore students are raising funds this holiday season with a Buy-A-Book project to help provide textbooks and readers for East African Kyamulinga School students and their teachers.   

    More than 200 pupils at the Kyamulinga Public Primary School located in Uganda, East Africa, are attending classes in a brand new facility these days, due in part to the Buy-A-Brick project that yielded $8,000 in donations from UMES students who founded the Hawk Children s Fund (HCF).  Closely akin to the Buy-A-Brick project, the Buy-A-Book project goal is to raise cash and pledges totaling $4,000.

    In cooperation with the organization Partnering for Africa's Future (PAF), HCF has set its sights on addressing the lack of educational materials and proper teacher training that contributes to the low literacy rates among Ugandan children.  A 2006 study conducted by the Ugandan Minister of Education and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation found that less than 7 percent of the country s children had the ability to fluently read, write, hear and speak their own language.  Today, the national curriculum in Africa requires that children study their own language through what is equivalent to the third grade in the U.S. and then begin to learn English.

    The Kyamulinga School Literacy Project, an outgrowth of the partnership between PAF and HCF, will work in collaboration with the Kyamulinga School Management Committee; the headmaster; the teachers; Katamba Joel, the school's founder; and Kibuuka Jane, a qualified teacher and headmaster of a government school in Africa, to turn things around.  In addition to providing textbooks and readers to establish a reading library, the Literacy Project goals include providing for all teachers proper training in reading, writing, listening and speaking skills; instituting policy and programs to increase the reading culture at the school; and funding a three-year evaluation tool that will collect data and report at the end of each year the successes or areas of improvement that need to be undertaken.

    To date, HCF has raised $2,500 toward its goal.  For more information or to contribute to the Hawk Children s Fund, visit www.hawkchildrensfund.org.

     

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    Suzanne Waters Street, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355, sstreet@umes.edu.