|Description of Project||
"Turning the Page - Books for Madagascar" is a project designed to provide English library books, text books, and reference books to Malagasy communities to support literacy and English education. These books will go to libraries and English centers across the country that are established by Peace Corps volunteers and maintained by local communities. Given that many of the educational resources available to the Malagasy people, if any at all, are outdated and in extremely poor condition, these books will fill a desperate need in Madagascar.
The funds raised with this grant will serve the crucial purpose of transporting 22,000 English books from the US to seventeen Malagasy communities across the country, connecting availability with need. Once the books have arrived, eighteen Peace Corps Volunteers will take on the task of sorting and distributing the books to their respective sites. There, the volunteers will introduce the books to the community, facilitating their assimilation into the educational system. Teachers will be instructed on possible methods of using the books as teaching resources within the classroom as well as reference tools outside of the classroom, while students will be encouraged to use them to supplement their education. The libraries will be promoted throughout their respective communities in order to encourage reading among all community members, young and old.
Each of the communities to receive books has expressed a need for English books and has enthusiastically demonstrated commitment to the project through collaboration on the project design and contributions. Communities have provided spaces for the books, shelving and tables for their storage and use, and librarians for their maintenance. They have also made repairs, attended trainings, and developed plans constituting how the books will be managed in anticipation of their arrival.
These books will give students and teachers alike a rare tool: a primary resource in the English language. Many English teachers in this country are the sole source of English knowledge to their students, themselves having learned what they know from secondary sources. The books will not only allow teachers to supplement their own knowledge, but give them a pure source of the English language from which to draw teaching material. Likewise, students will be able to supplement their education, improving their reading, vocabulary, and grammar skills with the benefit of engaging reading materials. As a long-term impact, we expect this project to help instill a more prominent culture of reading among the communities involved.