The Gift of Reading

As many of our children in upper elementary still struggle with basis reading skills, one of our teachers decided to offer extra lessons to students in need for two weeks during their vacation time. Check out the students’ responses:


“The lessons were too nice. In my entire life, I didn’t learn as much as I did with Mr. Makawa. You know before, I used to be scared to read in front of people because some laugh at me, but now I am not afraid to read in public anymore.” –Collins, 15

“I now know how to read difficult words with ease.” – Kathleen, 12

“I love Mr. Makawa’s class because he made us read many different stories. He taught us how to read by following the sounds of the letters. Reading story books opened my mind to a new world.” – Mercy, 13

“Mr. Makawa encouraged me to speak English and not be sacred to make mistakes.” – Meshak, 13

“With the children’s inability to read, their inconsistent attendance at the beginning made my task a challenging one. Also, because many of these children’s parents cannot read themselves, they were not encouraging their children to attend these reading lessons. I introduced the alphabet to them, the sounds of each letter, blending of vowels and consonants, and eventually walked them through reading one and two syllable words. At the beginning of the lessons, Mercy struggled the most. She couldn’t speak a word but she kept coming back everyday. Her perseverance made my day. At the end of 10 days, she was able to read. Somehow through the stories we read and sounds of the letters I taught them, she started to speak with ease as if her tongue was loosened!  Sometimes we started the lessons at 11am and many of the children came as early as 9am eagerly waiting for the lessons to begin. Their response to my class was a very positive and enthusiastic one. Through the story books, the children were able to experience life in other areas like in America or Britain, and this widened their horizon. Most of them no longer needed my assistance when reading words and making sound of the letters and that too made me very happy.

I would like to continue this experience and see them progress and read anything. I want them to cherish the gift of reading that God gave us as reading opens doors for other avenues,” expressed Mr. Frederick Makawa

If you are interested in helping us develop a reading program for our children in Africa, please visit and click on Get Involved and contact us.

–       By School Director, Marian Guirguis