Liberia: Torsor Community Gets Library- KEEP Dedicates 32nd Reading Room
On 23 May 2023, Kids’ Educational Engagement Project, (KEEP) dedicated a newly constructed and furnished Reading Room at the Tosor Public school in Commonwealth district, Grand Cape Mount County. The reading facility is a first for the school since its creation in 2007.
The dedicatory ceremony brought together representatives from KEEP Liberia, the Ministry of Education, the County Superintendent. Others in attendance were the town chief, and other community inhabitants of Torsor.
There were several speakers during the program including student Aminata M. Kroma who thanked KEEP for establishing such a beautiful learning facility in their school. “It will help improve our learning outcomes especially our reading skills based on how we use it, and I am sure we will.” Said Aminata.
For his part, the acting principal of the school, Mr. Joseph K. Cole could not hold back his excitement seeing such a beautiful Reading Room being built in the school he serves. “I don’t know what voice to use as appreciation to you, the family of KEEP for the wonderful work done in our community. We have longed for this project several years ago and we are happy seeing it as dream come true today.”
Mr. Cole assured the guests that he would ensure that the facility remains open to the students and the public. He also praised the County and District Education Officers (DEO) for maintaining a special relationship with the school.
Meanwhile, the town chief of Tosor town, Mr. Boima Senwa expressed gratitude to the Executive Director of KEEP, Mrs. Brenda B. Moore, and her team for choosing his town to benefit from the Reading Room project. “It is a blessing for the community.” The chief then called on the teachers, students, and parents for the proper usage of the facility. He also used the occasion to plead to the DEO, Mr. Larry D. Nimely to send additional qualified teachers to the school. “Whenever the school has enough qualified teachers learning facilities will be utilized properly and the students will appreciate what they learn.” He spoke.
Also making remarks at the program was the DEO of Garwula district, Mr. Mambu Golafale. Mr. Golafale noted that the foundation of every education is reading. He continued the there is nowhere in the sphere of formal learning wherein one writes well without reading well. He used the time to call on the parents and teachers to encourage the children to use the Reading Room regularly and wisely. He said any student who reads well goes further in learning because every subject goes along with reading. He congratulated KEEP for turning over two learning facilities to the Grand Cape Mount County School System in the space of one month. “We the education officers in Grand Cape Mount County appreciate your initiative and we pray this will not be the end.” He ended his remarks by calling on the students and teachers to take good care of the Reading Room and every material placed in it.
For her part, the Executive Director of KEEP, Mrs. Brenda B. Moore thanked the town chief and the people of Tosor for the level of cooperation during the implementation of the project. She told the people gathered that KEEP work goes beyond just reading. She named computer literacy, economic empowerment for women, advocacy amongst others. She said other programs usually follow based on how the school uses the reading room because it is the engine that drives the rest of the programs to the community. “Let’s work together to change the narrative of our children. Let’s join hands to build the future of our children.” She called on the people of Tosor.
She said the usage and protection of the facility should not only be the responsibility of the teachers but also the parents and students. “It costs us plenty of money to build this reading room. The furniture, the books the electricity and every other thing we did here costs us a lot of money, please take good care of them.” She admonished the people of Tosor. She advised the students not to use the sheets of the books to lite fire, wrap bread or use in the toilets.
The Executive Director said KEEP will train teachers from both Tosor and Medina in reading strategies and library management soon. She named OSIWA, Action AID, ACTIVA, GT Bank, International Bank, Africa Motors, ORWOCH and other partners as donors who supported this project. She puts the cost of the project at Ten Thousand Two hundred (US$10200.00) United States dollars.
Meanwhile, the DEO of Commonwealth district, Mr. Larry Nimely, who also proxied for the County Education Officer (CEO), expressed gratitude to KEEP for the project in a school under his jurisdiction. He said there is nothing bigger than thanks in this world and today the family of KEEP is being honored with the biggest award in the world of humanity which is thanks. “To the people of Tosor, experience has shown that people would usually cry for a project in their community but when the project is established with thousands of dollars protection and maintenance become a challenge, I want you to be an exception to those who mismanage donor and government’s projects.” He warned. He asked the students to use the reading room fully but carefully. “Reading helps to release stress; it makes you travel and see places you have not been able to visit physically. Reading brightens the minds. It helps improve literacy. Read, read, and always read.” Mr. Nimely cautioned the children.
Meanwhile, in response to the call of the town chief for additional but qualified teachers, the DEO said the number of teachers to a school depicts the number of students to that school. He then challenged the chief to encourage parents who are not sending their children to school to do so for the population of the school to rise. The program ended with jubilation amongst the inhabitants of the community.
The completion of this project brings to 32 the number of reading facilities KEEP has constructed over the years across Liberia. The Torsor public school currently has enrolled 171 students.