Little Librerias are small libraries, primarily in schools but also in unconventional community spaces, that provide children and young people in underprivileged communities with access to high-quality books that they would otherwise be unable to access. These Librerias are established in schools with little-to-no books but with a desire to give students access to the joy that recreational reading provides, as well as the short, medium and long-term academic, social and economic benefits that come from good literacy.
The donation of a Little Libreria to a school is an investment not just in the school but in the students themselves. By giving young people access to books they might not otherwise have, there’s the potential to create or inspire a new generation of readers and change their futures for the better.
Little Librerias don’t just come with books; they come with the full support and experience of the LOATAD team. This can mean as much as leading classes on writing and reading or as little as offering advice and guidance on maintaining the library from a distance, whatever works best for the school in question.
The first Little Libreria opened at Gem Star School in Ashaiman in September 2018. The second, at Nipanka Anglican Preparatory School in Kumawu in the Ashanti region, opened in December 2018.
Market Akenkan is a reading outreach programme aimed at the children of market women. Organised by LOATAD and The Spelling Bee, the programme is designed to encourage children to improve their literacy skills by providing a half-day of stimulating reading activities and support to help them enjoy a range of culturally and socially relevant books. The hope is that the children (and their parents) will be inspired to consider reading as an integral part of their daily lives with a long-term economic benefit rather than as an academic chore or an irrelevance.
The aim is to take the event around markets in Accra and, ultimately, Ghana, promoting reading as a fun and necessary activity that all children should have access to regardless of socioeconomic status. In addition, the event shows children how literacy can be a route out of poverty and into greater educational and economic opportunities by helping them to imagine and think beyond their current circumstances into the future.
Nsutam Community of Literacy™
The aim of this project, begun in 2018, is to create Ghana’s first Community of Literacy™ in Nsutam by involving everyone in the community, from the top down to the bottom up, in a programme aimed at improving the literacy skills in the community as a whole.
Nsutam COL fosters a sense of ownership and agency about the project by handing over responsibility for the creation and development of the programme to the community from the start, providing training and knowledge transfer immediately to equip members of the community to hone, apply, and share their newly acquired skills.
The home of the Community of Literacy will be Nsutam’s new flagship eco-library, a state-of-the-art facility designed in collaboration with the community, which is being built by a partnership of LOATAD, Ghanaian construction company, Hive Earth and Austrian architecture NGO, ArchiFair. The library is scheduled to be built in the summer of 2021.
LOATAD x Amin Nima x Nima Strongtower FC x Spread-Out Initiative
In partnership with Amin Nima, Nima Strongtower Football Club, and Spread-Out Initiative, LOATAD designed and runs a literacy programme for young footballers aged 9-15 from Nima, a city-within-a-city in Accra.
Thirty-one boys from Strongtower FC take part in twice-weekly reading and creative play sessions, facilitated by volunteers from Spread-Out Initiative, before being allowed to train as a team. The aim of the programme is to raise literacy levels and engage the boys in reading for pleasure and for life in a fun, informal way.
LOATAD trained the facilitators from Spread-Out Initiative in delivering the programme we designed and, once a month, the boys visit the library for a full day of activities including games, creative play, and literacy through film.
The programme began in September 2020 and will run for one year. It is monitored using KPIs regularly and will be evaluated at 3, 6 and 12 month intervals.
Library Laughs Scholarship
The Library Laughs Scholarship awards one, three-year scholarship to an academically promising but financially challenged student entering the first year of Junior High School (JHS).
The scholarship was established as a result of the Library Laughs event held in London, UK in October 2019. The comedy night, at which comedians volunteered their time and talent to raise funds for LOATAD, was the brainchild of award-winning British Guyanese/Ghanaian comedian, Athena Kugblenu.
Thirteen-year-old Christian Mudi of Gem Star School in Ashaiman was the first recipient of the Library Laughs Scholarship. He was chosen through a competitive application process that considered academic potential, financial need and passion for the school library, which was donated to Gem Star by LOATAD at the start of the 2018/19 academic year. In addition to the scholarship, Christian received school supplies, librarian training and additional support.
Willow Tree Literacy Scholarship
The Willow Tree Literacy Scholarship was established in September 2020 by Atlanta, USA couple, Jennifer and Lorenzo Wymbs. It provides six annual child memberships for local children, whose families otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it, to become members of LOATAD.