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FHI 360 supports new National Reading Campaign in Liberia

November 11, 2013

With the help of FHI 360’s Liberia Teacher Training Program, the Liberian Ministry of Education recently launched the country’s first National Reading Campaign. This two-year public awareness initiative aims to emphasize the importance of reading among students and to create a national culture of reading.

Since the start of the reading campaign in September, the Liberia Teacher Training Program, which is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has already helped donate thousands of books to schools across Liberia.

The launch of the reading campaign coincided with Liberia’s first National Reading Week, which President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf created in support of the campaign. President Sirleaf noted the domino effect of reading, saying, “Our children have got to be able to read so that they can be what they want to be. If you want to be a senator or president, you have to know how to read to get there.” The U.S. Ambassador to Liberia, Deborah R. Malac, also took part in the launch of the campaign by dedicating a reading room at the Gray D. Allison School in Monrovia, which had recently been renovated by the Liberia Teacher Training Program.

Throughout National Reading Week, which was held September 9–14, the USAID Liberia Teacher Training Program and local partners donated hundreds of books and spoke to children about the importance of reading; volunteers also read to students to further their excitement about reading. On the last day of National Reading Week, the USAID Mission Director to Liberia, John Mark Winfield, dedicated a reading room at Kingsville Public School in Careysburg, a city located just outside of Monrovia. The USAID Liberia Teacher Training Program recently donated over 500 books for children in grades 1–6 to this school.

Moving forward, the National Reading Campaign will increase access to books and encourage reading across the remaining 14 counties in Liberia.