Akili library has been a busy place this month as kids approach the end of the 1st term and prepare for exams. The frequent visitors to the library are the school children mostly in pre-school to 7th grade. They are always excited to pick up a book and read at the library.
Most children, particularly in Obunga, have little access to books. Akili Library is the only library in the entire slum area. The main national library service point is at the center of Kisumu town where most of the kids and Obunga residents cannot travel to due to the long distance and the charges imposed as library fees.
While at school, the teachers spend time trying to finish the syllabus and do not give the kids ample time to read books. Besides most schools do not have a library. As a result most children finish school with poor reading habits and very limited literacy skills.
At Akili, we offer homework assistance to the kids and also encourage them to pick up a book and read every day after doing their homework.
We endeavor to inculcate a reading culture in the kids living in the slum through offering access to reading materials that are relevant, stimulating and enjoyable to the kids so that the kids can begin to crave the books and read for pleasure. This will help to foster a lifelong reading habit among the kids.
Edwin has been teaching the kids how to dance at Akili prep school. The kids love these sessions and always come back to school on Friday afternoons for training.
After training, the kids get a chance to perform at school and in the church. Teaching the kids how to sing and dance will go a long way in helping them develop listening skills, express themselves and their feelings and help them to be creative.
It has been a long week for parents, teachers and the pupils at Akili prep school. The school had to close for one week owing to the general elections that took place on 4th March. Most families and school heads were afraid the ugly events that followed the disputed 2007 elections could recur. We thank God because there has been immense peace during and after the elections. The prevailing peace has enabled the schools in Kenya to reopen this week. Akili prep reopened on Monday and the kids were very happy to be back to school.
During the one week recess, the kids enjoyed singing, reciting poems and memory verses at the prince of peace church. Over 150 kids come to the prince of peace Sunday school service.
The kids were happy to reunite with their friends and classmates after the break, playing together as usual.
The kids will break for holidays in April. For now, it is back to school.
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