Worldreader.org‘s year-long iREAD program was launched this month in Ghana, with 400 students and 40 teachers in Kade and Adeiso each receiving a Kindle ereader (donated by Amazon and private donors) loaded with ebooks (including those donated by publishers such as Random House and private donors). The team at worldreader.org have just spent a week in Ghana delivering the ereaders, training teachers, helping teachers to show students how to use their Kindle and generally ensuring the program gets off to a smooth start. Elizabeth Wood from worldreader.org described it as “an exhausting but absolutely exhilarating week”.
According to Elizabeth Wood, “the students are saying “This is going to help me become a doctor / barrister / football player (by improving my English),” and the teachers are asking “How do we keep the kids from reading all the books at once?”” The good news is each Kindle can hold up to several thousand books so, as long as enough have been uploaded, the students will never run out of ebooks to read on their Kindle.
Some personal favourite moments for Elizabeth have included the ‘opening ceremonies’ conducted at community churches where local people expressed their support for the program, watching teachers not only show their students how to use their Kindles but also incorporate the Kindles into their lessons, walking through a local market and seeing children gathered around a Kindle reading to each other, watching children personalise their Kindle cases (donated by M-Edge), and watching children read local stories (helped by worldreader.org’s work digitising local content and assisting local publishers to make use of the opportunities which ebooks provide, such as vastly reduced production and distribution costs).
You can also make a donation in someone else’s name as a gift to them and they will receive a customisable ecard informing them of the gift. So, if you find yourself on Christmas Eve (or Christmas morning!) realising you need a present for someone, worldreader.org could be your answer.
The Australian Literature Review