Bonface Witaba, OER4Schools

Logo for OER4Schools

It is said that by six years old, a child from a low-income school would have read zero books compared to a child with in a more affluent community. Research shows that it is difficult to make up that gap over the course of a child’s education, with 70% of low-income third graders failing to read proficiently at grade level. Intervening early to address literacy skills and instruction is key in bridging this gap.

In Lubao, Kenya, Bonface Witaba has created OER4Schools, a youth empowerment and leadership initiative that aims to improve the lives of at-risk school going children by cultivating literacy-rich environments. This project will provide underserved schools with books and learning materials that will foster a love of reading that results in motivation throughout life.

The $1,000 seed grant will allow for this project to purchase 560 books, of which will comprise the St. Augustine Primary School library. To ensure sustainability, the books will be loaned, with a small fee of 25 Kenyan Shillings, approximately $0.25, if returned late. Bonface also plans to bring on six neighboring schools through a book subscription program, where participating schools contribute $200 for unlimited access to the library. The generated income will be used to buy more books and replace lost ones.

“We are sharing best models and approaches with the teachers, an aspect that will foster reading skills, self-confidence, grammar, performance and grade point average in the quest to reduce the reading gap between children.”

If you are interested in seeking out more information about Bonface and his project, see their Facebook or Twitter.

EAST AFRICA HUB GRANT 2015