When children are unable to read it becomes almost impossible for them to access further education and find good employment. According to the Ghana Education Service Reading Assessment Report 2015, over 50% of children could not read a single word of a story and less than 2% could read fluently (See full report here). Pen to Paper Ghana work with District Directors, head teachers, teachers and parents to help tackle the issue of illiteracy.
Free Daily Literacy Classes
Pen to Paper Ghana runs free classes for those who have slipped through the net of the initial learning of how to read. All students in a school are assessed and those that are struggling to read are taught through the concept of Synthetic Phonics and Phonemic Awareness in free daily sessions.
Not only do the classes improve their reading, it encourages them to become more confident, reducing the stigma associated with being illiterate.
"Literacy is a human right and the basis for lifelong learning" - UNESCO
In support of the phonics classes, Pen to Paper Ghana visits the students in their home environment.
Having this close, personal contact allows the team to give the students the one-on-one attention they need, whilst also getting to know the family and the environment they're in.
In partnership with schools in the UK, children in Ghana can sign up to have a pen pal.
Not only does the programme improve writing and reading skills, it allows all pupils to develop compassion and understanding for each other’s cultures. It also grows their social skills, as well as promoting patience and develops curiosity.
We run teacher training sessions with schools to educate primary school teachers on our phonics programme.
Having phonics trained teachers for the lower primary year groups greatly improves the reading ability of their pupils.
Pen to Paper Ghana sees the great importance of communicating with the students’ parents in the mission to improve literacy. The meetings consist of discussions on the progress of their child’s reading, whilst also educating on topics, such as how vital general attendance to school is and how they can develop their child’s education outside of school.
Mobile library van
With the help of our individual donors, P2P Ambassadors, The Anne Frank Foundation, Ghana School Aid, Assist Africa and a Community Champion Award we won from the Daily Mail and General Trust, Pen to Paper Ghana started a mobile library in 2017.
For most families in Ghana, books are not commonly seen in the home, so the Mobile Library Van allows children to access books to read in their homes and freely swap them when they have finished. Not only does this improve what they've learnt in the phonics classes, it encourages a love for reading.
In collaboration with a local community club, Pen to Paper Ghana run 3 classes every Saturday morning, where all children in the area are invited.
Each week, over 200 children attend and they are split up into 3 groups:
Happy Hippos – children under 6 and those who are in year 1, who are taught the basic phonic sounds, as well doing creative activities and practicing writing letters.
Learning Lions - these range from aged 6 – 17 years, who should be able to read but are unable to.
Reading Rabbits – with this group we run a book club, where they’ll often be in groups to talk about stories they’re reading and do activities, such as writing competitions and spelling tests.
Once a student is competent in their group, they are moved into the next one.