Two libraries constructed with funding provided by a retired Dutch volunteer residing in Monrovia, were dedicated over the weekend amidst widespread jubilations spear-headed by school administrators and the student body.
The refurbished well-furnished libraries were dedicated at the William V.S. Tubman High and its Sinkor-based annex, the A. Glenn Tubman Elementary and Junior High School, respectively.
In an exclusive interview shortly after the well-attended indoor program, Madam Jaeq Turel told the Daily Observer that the projects were borne out of her curiosity to see Liberian students adopt a culture of reading, but with comprehension.
Not only did Madam Turel refurbished the two libraries, she was also instrumental in soliciting books and other useful materials that have arose the interest of students to spend most of their leisure hours in school in these libraries.
According to her, it was about two years ago when she conceived the idea to revamp and or refurbish libraries of few selected schools in Monrovia especially at the Tubman High and the A. Glenn Elementary schools where she noticed the students could not properly read.
Before starting the process, Madam Turel had helped tutor the students primarily with the reading subject where she herself got involved by teaching them to read and understand what they had read.
“In my country-The Netherland, some parents like me, most often go to the campuses of schools, especially the primary schools, and begin to teach alongside the teachers some basics of reading to the pupils. This is what I also want to get involve in Liberia while here in my retired age.”
She said, because Liberian students are noticed to be lacking (not there) behind in reading, “I started looking for the money as well as other essential reading materials, including current books for primary schools in order to refurbish the libraries. I also encourage the students to take advantage of the libraries.”
Unlike in Liberia, she said, in The Netherland (her homeland), parents sometimes volunteered to teach the pupils how to read and write, while the teachers are also doing likewise.
With all the help from Madam Turel by giving the over 2,370 students the needed assistance through refurbishing the libraries, she noted that there were challenges owing to the lack of electricity to provide light and get other stand fans and other appliances (pieces of equipment) functional in the libraries. She also cited the lack of running safe drinking water for the students and their administrators.
Madam Turel has expressed gratitude to the Liberian business community and individuals, who helped by making financial contributions to the projects as well as those who donated materials, including wooden tables and other materials to make the projects fruitful. She also extended thanks to the few trained librarians for their tireless efforts to impact the required knowledge to the students.
At the occasion, the students as well as their administrators and even other educators, who were in attendance were provided a T-shirt each with various inscriptions, such like…”I support the National Reading Campaign, Learn to Read to Learn!!!, Reading Brightens Your Life, etc.”
Several other persons, who made remarks called for help to empower the teachers, and also provide all time maintenance that would preserve the libraries.
“We are grateful to Madam Turel for the projects, but we are equally concern about our students making the necessary use of the libraries wherein they would stop running to video clubs and ridding motor-bikes,” each of the speakers corroborated the previous speakers.
While urging for the maintenance of the projects at all times, Monrovia Consolidated School System (MCSS) Superintendent, A. Benjamin Jacobs called on the students to make maximum use of the facilities.
“If you cannot read, you cannot go anywhere in your academic pursuit, because all of our successes in education begin with reading; one have to read to understand the necessities of life. This is how important reading is as it was also written on the T-shirts distributed among the students and others at the program.