April 19, 2014

Inspiring High School Girls

We currently have two library projects at secondary girls’ schools (Metkei in the Kerio Valley, and Oleleshwa in the Maasai Mara with Free the Children). The girls at these two (quite young) schools are showing incredible potential, and we have spent a great deal of time specifically selecting books that will motivate and empower them to become great leaders. I can’t wait to show them these books, all of which I have read, and all of which I found incredibly helpful in making decisions.

April 8, 2014

London Book Fair Today

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It is one of my favorite times of year - The London Book Fair. Every April, we come to London to meet with all of the publishers who support our program by giving very generous discounts to all of the books we order for our library projects. Their support is crucial to KEY Libraries, as without them we wouldn’t be able to reach as many schools as we do. I can’t wait to update them about how their books are being used and how they are changing the worldview of the students who are reading them.

February 7, 2014

It Is Official: Shella Primary Has A Library Council!

imageYesterday, elections for the Library Council were held at Shella Primary School.  This Council of students is badly needed and we are glad that our idea that they be appointed was welcomed and implemented. The Council students  are now officially in charge of maintaining and running the library. The expectation is that they will keep at a high standard and overcome its previous challenges.  They have assured us that they will honour their Library Constitution and make short opening hours of the library  (a few hours a week), a very dusty space (Island living means a lot of sand blowing around), and messy bookshelves a thing of the past. Teachers charged with overseeing the library are stretched, having students take over their role is a relief for them. 

It’s a win win for Shella Primary, the community and KEY. More students will have access to the library, read more, get a well rounded education, become responsible managers and strengthen their exam results, .

January 30, 2014

Sauti Sol Visits KEY Libraries

We had a great time showing some of our KEY libraries to Sauti Sol today in the Rift Valley. It was amazing for the students to hear about the singers journeys through school (all A students!!) and how important books have been to their success.

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January 30, 2014

The Comic Choice

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I (Niccola) was originally reluctant to add graphic novels and comics to the book collections at the libraries we donate, and that was very short-sighted of me. Rita included them in line with our principles that education is a great equalizer: “as students around the world adore comics, Kenyan students must have access to them as well. They too must the free to adore them.” - she said. It turns out, that the comics we have included in our donated libraries have ended up being some of the most popular mediums for student reading. Powerful engaging graphics and punchy dialogue, we have observed, helps students comprehension and their ability re-tell the story.

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