Portia Dery is a young writer making waves in Ghana. She won the Golden Baobab Award for Children’s Literature and she is the main brain behind this writing clinic which will start on Saturday, 20th June 2015 from 9am to 10:30am at the Children’s Library, Tamale.
The funky ReadWrite clinic is an intensive incubator grooming clinic that lures children to read and write through play activities/games, AYWO’s curriculum and technology. The aim of this clinic is to groom children to pick up pleasure reading and creative writing as quality leisure activities hence in the long run making them avid readers and prolific writers.
The Funky ReadWrite Clinic has two key distinctive features;
- A funky reading clinic where children are exposed to a wide variety of books. Children are taken through an exciting journey of reading via play activities/games and technology.
- A mentoring creative writing clinic which systematically stimulate the imagination of children. Here, creative writing is used as a therapeutic tool to help children open up, be confident and become more vocal about their emotions. Children are taken through intensive writing courses and also mentored by top African writers around the world via online programs.
Why the need for this?
Ghana’s educational system has undervalued the importance of pleasure reading and creative writing for children in schools. Over the years emphasis has been on ‘text book’ education and story books have been subtly pushed to the back.
Children are constantly reminded, “you must read to pass your exams!” as a stern warning making most children view reading and writing as ‘ a dreaded monster.’ Thus, reading and writing is often promoted as a means to an end, which is for exams only. Hence children miss the opportunity to explore and stimulate their creative minds.
The above worsens the already high illiteracy among children. UNESCO clearly says that more children are illiterate in world’s poorest countries than believed.
Although a national problem in Ghana the situation is worse in the northern region of Ghana. For instance, whiles the rate of illiteracy in the Greater Accra Region is 21% Ashanti 40%, 54% in the Brong Ahafo Region, it rises to an alarming 76% in the three Northern regions(http://tadmi.org/)
Why are beneficiaries children from deprived communities?
Children in deprived communities have no access to good schools with good educational facilities. These children are usually very timid, less vocal, their reading and writing abilities are low and therefore find it extremely difficult to understand their lessons in the classroom.
Their parents earn below the minimum wage hence would never be able to afford extra reading & writing lessons or buy enhanced reading materials.
17 school children are selected from 4 schools within 4 deprived communities; they would be groomed in this intensive clinic for 4-5months. After which the second batch will be enrolled.
These children would become reading ambassadors and change agents for their schools and communities
There is a local proverb which is best transliterated “he who climbs a good tree deserves to be pushed”. Let’s show our support in sponsorships and show up in our numbers to help train some children to love reading so as to impact positively their peers.
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015