In January 2007 I watched the movie Akeelah and The Bee and apart from thoroughly enjoying the movie, I was amazed that I didn’t know a good number of words the kids were spelling (its ok if you felt that way too). That day I thought to myself, ‘if I (with the level and standard of education I’ve had) cannot spell those words, what is the hope of the indigent child in a Local Education Authority school who sits on the floor in an unroofed class, doesn’t wear socks, is taught English in vernacular, and is rushing home to go hawk wares for his parents every day after school? Truth is, they don’t stand a chance.
That day, I started writing what I am sharing with you now (fully aware of the risks of putting an idea out there). I need to do something, and because I am not in government, I will do what I can do, with your help. The plan is to give these kids two books to read every month (storybooks/novels) commensurate to their ages and current knowledge level. On the last Saturday of every month, we meet with the kids, discuss what they’ve read, go over difficult words, lessons learnt (if any), etc. More importantly we will play (till we sweat), eat (a lot), and generally do things that kids love to do.
Long term plan of this will be to get corporate organizations, families, individuals (anyone who can) to pick kids from the club and sponsor them up to tertiary level but with a catch: tuition is only paid to the schools even though a stipend will/might be given and the child stands to forfeit the sponsorship if their grades drop below a certain level at any time or if they get on the wrong side of the law.
The aim is to give these kids a start by improving their word power, occupy their time positively, and expose them to worthy role models (you and me, the volunteers).
Three years and loads of notes later, this dream is still burning strong and that’s why I’m talking to you. I’m currently taking an enterprise course in my postgraduate class and using this dream as my project idea because I feel very passionate about it and because by putting it through rigorous testing here, I can research and find the best way to run this.
The first part of that research is what I’ve done now; put the idea out for you to sample. What is the first step? Who do we need to talk to, where should this start from? What are the strengths and opportunities, weaknesses and threats with this idea? What stumbling blocks do you already see? Where do we source volunteers? Would you volunteer for this project? Who can we collaborate with? Who’s already doing something like this?
Where do we find the books? What part of the country should we start from? Will cultures and religions influence/affect this in any way?
To sum it up, what say ye?
P: S – the rights of this author are reserved.
About The Fairy God Sister;
This is gonna sound a lil weird…but…uhm when my car broke down in your world, I thought I wouldn’t live through getting it started again. Besides, its fun watching humans from my telescope in the sky. Being among you however
is such a wild new experience and frankly…I don’t care it ever starts again.
My boss can’t reach me. I’m outta service range. He! He! I know sometimes, we might see things differently, but I am trying hard to understand your kind. Let’s practice acceptance shall we? ACCEPT me…
I can guarantee you two things only: Learning and F.U.N. Ditch the car keys…walk with me anyone? – Chioma Chuka