Ready for Reading and Rwanda Book Mobile created Reading Riders in response to COVID-19 which profoundly affected education systems worldwide.
Each day trained “story-tellers on bikes” head out to schools, libraries, ECD, and community centers. Through storytelling, read-aloud and story-making equip students and out-of-school youth with critical literacy skills, inspiring them to love reading, writing and learning and to make sure no child is left behind.
Children who were in Primary 1 and 2 and 3 of their academic year when the pandemic hit faced a very big challenge in their literacy education. School closures for most of 2020/2021 only increased the already existing literacy gap in these lower primary grades. When schools opened they were eager to quickly make up for lost learning. However, with poor reading and writing skills, this acceleration strategy hindered their capacity to master the basic literacy skills necessary to succeed in school. Many students didn’t return to school and were at even greater risk of falling behind with life-long consequences.
The program is designed to bring the joy of literacy and reading to children everywhere. We take stories to children in their schools and use break time or one hour of the school schedule reading with them. The program also reaches those kids who are not able to go to school reaching them where they are:
- Like in their communities
- In youth centers
- In libraries
- In the hospital
In partnership with Rwanda BookMobile we started our pilot project with four Reading riders and 2 schools and have now expanded to 16 hubs that are located in all provinces of Rwanda, and the Program trained 57 librarians/volunteers to ride out to schools & communities to inspire children to love to read.
After starting with only four Reading Riders and within three months, Many schools noticed the impact the program is making in two of our partners’ schools then we received a lot of expansion requests from new schools and now we have expanded to 16 hubs/ libraries, currently reaching 23,040 children from 64 schools that these reading riders from 16 hubs are serving.
Reading Riders :
“I appreciate how much this program has increased the culture of reading in young kids. It is really going to inspire and influence the future community very much. Also, as a Reading Rider, through this program, I learned how to manage time, and how I can stand in front of a group of people and express myself. This program has really made me a very good storyteller and it is sure that l can train others in terms of storytelling, and art, especially to kids.” Samuel TUMUSIFU
“Reading Riders program doesn’t only help us to increase our love of reading but also helps young kids to express themselves, learn new vocabularies, and share stories. Also, reading and writing skills have increased in the young generation” MUTESI Solange,
“Through this program, we are creating good future storytellers. And, public speaking skills are developed”. RWAGASANA Emmanuel, “This program is really great because it helps young kids to develop their Kinyarwanda reading and writing ability, it develops social interaction and public speaking ability. Also, it creates self-confidence in them and the love of books.” IRADUKUNDA Odile said
What Teachers had to say:
“As a teacher of Kinyarwanda, this program is helpful to me especially because some of the students have become fluent in Kinyarwanda where they are confident in expressing themselves and in sharing stories that have been read to them. Also, this program develops listening ability and it creates mutual relations between kids and storytellers and teachers as well”. MUKANKUBITO Valentine
What Head teachers had to say:
“This program promotes the culture of reading in young kids, especially Kinyarwanda language that has somehow started to lose its value. Also, this program helps kids to express themselves and to show their emotions without ignoring social interaction that is highly developed in them”. DUSHIME Phocas.