United Way Ghana launches Nyansapo Literacy Project to raise readers and enhance childhood literacy

Building the reading and comprehension skills of children during their early years are essential to improving their literacy levels and life-long potential. Literacy in children is an area of concern, as USAID Early Grade Reading Assessment indicates that 89 in 100 Ghanaian children cannot read appreciably below the 3rd grade level. Also, 98% of children in primary 1 to 3 in Ghana cannot read or write at the most basic level.

In light of this, United Way Ghana has launched the Nyansapo Literacy Project on May 21, 2019 at the Ayebeng Memorial Primary in Accra under the theme Promoting Childhood Literacy, to improve the literacy levels and nurture the reading culture of pupils from primary one to six in underserved communities. The project, set to impact 667 students, will provide reading books in every classroom in the beneficiary school through the Library In A Box initiative. Trained volunteers of United Way Ghana will lead intensive reading sessions each week in the school to ingrain the interest for reading in students.

Explaining the rationale behind the Nyansapo Literacy Project, Impact and Operations Coordinator for United Way Ghana, Faustina Abbey underscored the relevance of reading and writing to childhood development and its long term impact on the welfare of the child. “This project seeks to enhance childhood literacy by inculcating the culture of reading in the learning cycle of the pupil. With the ‘Library In A Box’ in every primary classroom, pupils will have access to a variety of books and trained volunteers of United Way Ghana will hold weekly reading sessions to support the efforts of school teachers.”

The Nyansapo Literacy Project is sponsored by the American Chamber of Commerce, Ghana with partners - Biblionef Ghana, Midstream Literary Agency, Achievers Ghana, Ghana Library Authority, Baraka Policy Institute, Special Attention Project, Crust Media, TopDog Africa, Eneza Education - Ghana & Worldreader.

Speaking on why the American Chamber of Commerce – Ghana (AmCham) sponsored the Nyansapo Literacy Project, the Chamber’s Executive Secretary, Simon Madjie said educating the next generation of leaders is prudent for the sustainability of businesses. “We are convinced that in order for business to thrive in Ghana, young people in the communities in which we operate must have the skills and abilities to take over the business in future and that begins with educating children,” he explained.

United Way Ghana launches Nyansapo Literacy Project to raise readers and enhance childhood literacy

United Way Ghana launches Nyansapo Literacy Project to raise readers and enhance childhood literacy

For the headmaster of Ayebeng M/A Primary School, Solomon Adovor, the project is one that will be given the full support by the student body and teachers to improve the current performance level of students. “I am grateful that my school was considered to kick start the project. We, as a school, are ready to support with all our resources in order to remain at the top when it comes to academic performance.”

Young author and an ambassador of Nyansapo Literacy Project, Yewoe Ocloo donated ten copies of her book Yewoe Pan of Puns. In her speech, Yewoe expressed her excitement to be part of the reading project since it is a dream come true for her. “I couldn’t wait for this day to come. Reading is beneficial and necessary for every child and I am glad to join the efforts to bring books to children in Ghana.” Yewoe, 9, pledged to donate more copies of her book in the next academic year.

After the launch ceremony, some of the invited guests from Biblionef Ghana, Worldreader and municipal directorate led pupils in volunteer reading sessions and engaged them on literary exercises.

Nyanspo Literacy Project, which falls under United Way Ghana’s Improving Basic Education (IBE) programme, also advances the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 that champions inclusive and equitable quality education and promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all as well as SDG 17 which advocates for partnerships to achieve set goals and targets.