Our goal is that every school in Kenya will one day have a well-stocked library. But we recognize that for now, until more donors mobilize, we will sometimes need to get creative in order to reach as many schools as possible, while maintaining the standards we have set for good quality books.
When Lewa Education Program (LEP) approached us with their idea of establishing a mobile library program for 16 schools in their area, we knew immediately it was a project we wanted to support. KEY agreed to supply the books for this program, while LEP provides the team, vehicle, and logistics to bring the mobile library to different schools each day, so that each student at these schools will reading at least 3 books/week. For now, the program is targeting students in Standard 8, as they will be writing their exams at the end of the year. The goal is to eventually target all students in the school.
This program was developed because exam results showed that students were performing badly in English, but that there was little they could do to improve as their schools had no reading books for them to access in order to improve their language fluency. Academic studies, as well as our own findings, show that when students are able to access reading books, their grades improve in all subjects.
Over the last few days we joined LEP to deliver the mobile library to several schools, discussing the program with the students, and helping train LEP staff on the aspects of our library program which will be adopted in the Mobile Library Program.