Our friends at The Pelican Post have written a guest blog post for us, all about #ProjectKALA, an initiative to make sure that children who speak African languages can learn to read in their mother tongues alongside English. Over to them to tell us more...
For those of you who have or work spend time with children, you don’t have to be told that reading is an important aspect of childhood. All the experts agree it can help their development in so many ways. Access to early readers helps to build literacy skills; children become familiar with sounds, words and language. Through reading, a love of fiction grows which in turn sparks imagination, stimulates curiosity of the wider world, and hones and develops thinking processes along the way. It was with this in mind that Nick Johnson founded the UK-based charity, Pelican Post five years ago. It’s also why The Pelican Post team and its supporters work hard year on year, making sure kids right across the world get to enjoy the pleasures of reading.
Can you imagine being able to speak English but not being able to read it? Our latest initiative, #Project KALA, aims to Keep African Languages Alive so that children can learn to read in their mother tongues (alongside English). Despite local languages being taught in schools as a child’s first language, the lack of appropriate children’s fiction in those languages means that many children grow up unable to read their native tongue, despite being able to speak it.
Rarely does throwing money at a problem actually fix it, but this is one of those times. With your help, through crowdfunding, we hope to raise enough funds to translate, print and distribute 3,000 copies of the children’s favourite, Handa's Surprise by Eileen Browne (Walker Books) in dual languages, English and a local language, starting with Fante in Ghana. Walker Books have generously given us fantastic printing discounts and rewards for donors, which means we just need your pledges to get these books into classrooms full of eagerly waiting children!
You can get involved and support us by donating whatever you can afford, raising money in any way you please – schools are doing sponsored readathons, cultural days and bring and buy sales. You can also persuade your friends and family, even strangers to do the same! Get creative, get raising and get us closer to achieving our very important goal.
To find out more about The Pelican Post’s #ProjectKALA Crowdfunder campaign, visit: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/projectkala/