Reading for All

Posted on July 20th, 2011

The 7th Pan-African Reading Conference was held in Gaborone, Botswana July 11-14. About 400 teachers, publishers, literacy workers, government and NGO members attended. These were from Australia, Canada, England, USA, and many African countries. We spent four days attending lectures and workshops on literacy education, talking to publishers about literacy needs, and networking.

Some of the sponsors for this wonderful gathering were the International Reading Association, the International Development Association of Africa and the Reading Association of Botswana. These organizations provided quality presenters. Other contributions came from the attendees themselves as they shared projects, workshops and papers.

I was blessed to meet some amazing men and women who are committed to helping Africans of all ages learn or better their literacy skills. For instance, around our table one evening we had people from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Kenya, Ethiopia, Jamaica, Canada, USA, and Botswana. Many attendees are Christians who are working with governments, NGOs, schools and other institutions in literacy.

Botswana is rare in that it sets aside and uses 30% of its total budget for education. Many local
teachers were in attendance because of the value the Ministry of Education places on education. The Lord led me to a Middle School teacher from Kasane who is becoming a close friend. We plan to work together with the other teachers here to encourage them and share what we learned.

The Chobe River College, where Elise teaches, asked me to look for reading curriculum for the school. I was able to talk with publishers’ representatives and bring back a few options for the school to review. Also, in September, I will hold a teacher-in-service workshop and share some of the information I received at the conference with the teachers of Chobe River College.

I am so grateful to all who support us. Because of that, I was able to attend and be blessed and hope to spread that blessing around to others!

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