News out of Nigeria – New shipment of children’s books to Yola By-Pass

Photos and a letter from Karon K. Harden, Academic Liaison for Community Engagement and Service Learning at the American University of Nigera, Yola By-Pass News for Nigeria - children inspecting the packages of books

I am happy to report that thanks to the books we received from the March 2013 shipment from Judith’s Reading Room, we were able to inaugurate our STELLAR project lending library yesterday.

The 70 books were distributed to 35 pupils that we tutor in primary grades 3 and 4 at Musdafa Model Primary School here in Yola. Each pupil took home 2 books. As you can see from the photos, I carefully “packaged” each book in a Hefty Ziploc Freezer bag for extra protection in transit. We want them to last as long as possible (but I’d rather they get dirty being read than stay clean on a shelf somewhere!). I also sent home a laminated letter in Hausa and English with each book explaining the program to the parents and asking them for their support in helping the children to read and to take care of the books. The tutors will also be asking each child about their books when they bring them back. News From Nigeria - books to take home!

We tutor these pupils every Monday and Wednesday. The pupils will bring their books back at each tutoring session and exchange them for another … In all we tutor up to 400 pupils per semester, so the more books the merrier.

I hope these pictures help me express my gratitude for your generosity.

An added note, from a correspondence after the the photos were received…I’m glad you like the pictures. By the way, in this culture, people are not taught to smile for pictures like we are – in fact, the default is a straight face, so if you see some of the children straight-faced, don’t think that they are mad or grumpy or anything. I kept telling them to smile, and they kept trying NOT to smile! :-)

Karon K. Harden
Academic Liaison for Community Engagement and Service Learning
Lecturer, Communication Studies
American University of Nigeria

Website: www.aun.edu.ng

Libraries dedicated in Yola By Pass, Nigeria

Three (3) Judith’s Reading Room libraries – two mobile and one permanent — were dedicated today in Yola By Pass, Adamawa State, Nigeria serving nine (9) educational institutions and impacting over 10,000 students.   Judith’s Reading Room collaborated with the American University of Nigeria, the Rotary Club of Yola, Remi Foundation, a school serving 400 including 100 special needs children, and the Karatu Foundation, an organization created to sustain libraries in various institutions in the Yola area, with the goal of increasing literacy in this area of northern Nigeria.  The first donation of 120 books valued at $1,038 marked the beginning of a long-term commitment on the part of Judith’s Reading Room to ship two boxes of books per month.  As of December 2012, a total of 599 books worth $3,912 have been shipped to Nigeria.