by PEPY’s Book Specialist Jennie Toner
PEPY has been working hard with two of our key partner NGO organizations, BETT (Basic Education and Teacher Training) and Room to Read, to develop and implement a pilot project of Classroom Libraries. In June 2009, PEPY will introduce grade-specific classroom libraries in 10 rural schools, benefiting nearly 3,000 Cambodian students and over 50 government teachers.
The Classroom Library project began with the recognition that the traditional school library model in Cambodia could be strengthened through more effective resource allocation and training. After several workshops and meetings with organizations already working in libraries in Cambodia, PEPY began the process of leveling preexisting Khmer books, reprinting quality resources, creating new early literacy materials, selecting pilot schools, and developing teacher training materials.
The books developed and selected for this project will be supplemented with classroom activities to engage students and foster a love and enjoyment of reading. The activities for each grade level follow Ministry standards in Cambodia and build on one another, extending children’s abilities to demonstrate understanding and strengthening their reading and writing skills significantly over time.
As a key component of the project, PEPY is focusing on teacher training, working with teachers and school administrators to train government teachers at each school on how to effectively use books in their regular classroom activities. By bringing these books into the classroom, the hope is that teachers will be empowered to creatively use the resources available to them and students will have more access to reading materials, with themes that are relevant to their daily lives.
Look for more updates to come as we continue to build our classroom library resources and training curriculum and work with our partners to launch this exciting program.