Over the past two years, Professor of Education Charles Temple has been working with writers and illustrators in Liberia to create books for children. Through numerous workshops, Temple has helped authors in the Reading Liberia program to produce books that engage children of all ages and reading levels.
“The point is to have books for children and young people to read that reflect the realities of a society that is still emerging from a 14-year long civil war, and yet do so in a way that is hopeful but not preachy,” explains Temple.
Six books have been produced, each telling contemporary stories of children living in Liberia. In order to make the books accessible to all children, each book is available in two versions – one that is meant for confident readers and another that is geared toward children with very limited reading abilities.
“Another goal is to produce books that children of many levels of preparation can read,” says Temple. “That includes those whose education was interrupted, or are out of school altogether and are learning to read in non-formal education centers.”
Currently, 100,000 copies are being shipped from the printer in Abu Dhabi to Monrovia, Liberia. USAID has already purchased 33,000 books to distribute to schools all over the country.
For more information, visit http://www.codecan.org/get-involved/reading-code/reading-liberia.
Reading Liberia is a collaborative initiative between the WE-CARE Foundation of Liberia and CODE. CODE is a Canadian NGO supporting Development through Education for over 50 years. WE-CARE Foundation is a Liberian NGO promoting a love of reading and supporting schools and communities by distributing books and establishing libraries since 1992.
Temple received his B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina, and his M.Ed. in curriculum studies and his Ph.D in reading education from the University of Virginia. He also studied at the University of Madrid, where he taught English part time, and taught at the University of Houston-Victoria. Temple is also the author and co-author of numerous books. In addition to his teaching duties at HWS, Temple recently co-founded and directs the Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking (RWCT) Project, in association with the International Reading Association. For more information on Temple, visit his experts page: http://www.hws.edu/news/experts/displayexpert.asp?expertid=33