Reading Liberia has redesigned its program for the period 2016-2021. Five years ago, the comprehensive reading program was instituted in 72 schools involving 33,610 students and 1,313 teachers. For the next five years, the program will be working with an additional 60 schools in Margibi, Bomi and Grand Bassa counties.
The Reading Liberia program, which has been renamed WE-CARE/CODE Reading Liberia 2020, kicked off with a 1-day stakeholders’ working meeting on Friday, February 19, 2016 at the WE-CARE Foundation Library, corner of Carey and Gurley Streets. The meeting, which included 65 participants, brought together county chief education officers (CCEOs), district education officers (DEOs), principals and Parent-Teacher Association chairpersons of public and community elementary schools from Bomi and Margibi counties. The purpose of the meeting was to create awareness of the program and ownership by the communities and stakeholders. Thirty public and community elementary schools in Tubmanburg and Kakata were recruited for Cluster I of Reading Liberia 2020 for the academic years 2016 to 2018.
WE-CARE Foundation’s program coordinator, Mrs. Yvonne Capehart Weah, informed the participants that WE-CARE Foundation and her partner CODE have redesigned the program to include more mentoring and monitoring activities, which were not the focus of the program in the last five year.
According to a statement from the WE CARE Foundation, assessment will also be done both for the students and teachers, and continuous participation of a teacher in the program will depend on the performance of the students.
She said that this time around, “the comprehensive reading initiative is meant to enhance teachers’ performance and improve the student learning outcomes of the Liberia children with the collective effort of all stakeholders.” The aim is to develop and foster the culture of reading and writing in our Liberian schools by training teachers to teach reading and writing across the curriculum, using active participatory and cooperative learning strategies and critical thinking methods.
Reading Liberia 2020 Program delivery was shared with the participants, principals and PTA chairpersons who later signed affirmation documents promising to abide by all aspects of the Reading Program. The participants expressed gratitude to CODE and WE-CARE for the innovative education program. “They assured their cooperation and support for the program,” the statement concluded.