Tuesday, July 22, 2008

First day of summer reading camp

We were down visiting all the five libraries (very briefly) over the weekend, and stopped by in Bereba for the first day of the reading camp that FAVL is hosting and that we are piloting as a kind of evaluation project. In general I hate taking pictures of things like this, but I am the only one with the camera often (though not always... ). The reading camp team is handling all the activities... part of my effort to be more "arms-length" in all local FAVL activities... that is them in the picture. The gender imbalance is not deliberate- the young woman is the "best reader" of Bereba and is doing a kind of apprenticeship as a camp helper. The guys are Dounko (second from left) and Donkoui (far right) whoa re FAVL's local management team. The other guys are a team from Ouagadougou who have been doing some small literacy and theater projects with urban kids (from left Flavien, Rodrigue and Ismail). It was their first time, apparently, in a small village, and it was kind of funny to see them acting very tentative and out of their element. but they will settle down soon. We're hoping that they'll pass on some "city" skills to our rural-based team. it may well be the other way around, though. Donkoui and Dounko did an excellent job working with me all last week to organize the camp program, prepare all the materials, etc. After Bereba the team will split into two and run two-week reading camps in the other four villages. Needless to say, we're very exciting about this experiment, because it might be a very replicable model for all of Burkina. In the regular school year and curriculum there is so little time for "fun" activities and quiet reading.

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