Reading in Africa: Student Training at Naguru Parents School

June 21, 2013 By

This post is the first piece to the “What does a Worldreader Kit Launch Look Like?” series by our team member Kimee Johnson who is on the ground in Uganda this week launching a new e-reader program. Kimee will be reporting daily as project managers, teachers and students are trained. Today’s post is about the student training. 

by Kimee Johnson, Assistant Partnership Development Manager

P4 students enjoying their e-readers for the first time.

P4 students delight in how the screen changes with every turn of the page.

Primary students flocked to Naguru Parent School’s library after class today. 450 students received hour-long introductions to the devices during class, and they couldn’t wait for more. Bridget, a P7 student librarian, told me a couple days ago that because there are so few chairs in the library, only 15 students are allowed to be in it at a time. Students eagerly broke that rule today, lining the walls and crowding around our chairs to read.

I can’t say I was surprised. Earlier, I was sitting near the open door of a classroom while observing P7 student training. The M-edge e-reader case I was holding caught the sun and the attention of some students outside on break. They rushed inside the classroom to investigate, and, realizing they could read from the shiny gadget, pulled me outside to read “Alphabetty Soup” aloud together. If I had been holding a paper book, that never would have happened.

The e-readers captivated students both outside and inside the classrooms. Some rockstar teachers commanded their attention, leading them through everything they needed to know – from to not sit on the e-readers to how to get to a specific location in a book. With teachers who felt less comfortable, Mike or I led lessons. Thanks to Cici, an Otterbein University student who trained some “e-reader leaders” before we arrived, many of the primary students were eager to help each other.

Teacher Fred instructs his class how to use an e-reader

Teacher Fred leads his class through “E-readers 101.”

We’re about as eager for the community launch tomorrow as they were to read together. After such a fantastic day, how could we not be?