KEEP Liberia Dedicates 31st Reading Room In Grand Cape Mount County
Kids Educational Engagement Project (KEEP) has dedicated its 31st reading room at Medina Public School, Grand Cape Mount County.
The dedication ceremony was attended by chiefs and elders of Medina, the Assistant Minister for Basic and Secondary Education, Felecia Doe- Suma, the County Education Officer, Elijah Freeman, and District Education Officer, Mambu Golafale.
In the overview of the project, Albert Thoudou, Program Officer, Kids Educational Engagement Project (KEEP), said KEEP is an organization that champions reading literacy in Liberia and continues to provide reading spaces around the country for students. He explained that KEEP started as a community-based organization in 2014 to provide reading materials to students during the Ebola epidemic, but has since transitioned to a national organization through its numerous programs, including promoting the culture of reading, computer literacy, women and youth empowerment. The program officer narrated that since the formation of the organization, KEEP has established 31 reading rooms in across 11 of the 15 counties in Liberia.
He said the Medina’s reading room, which is the 31st, was sponsored by OSIWA, International Bank Liberia Limited, Activa Insurance, Cummings Africa Foundation, Bility Development Foundation, ActionAid Liberia, the EJS Center, etc. He further mentioned that US$10,500 was used for the construction of the reading facility while the cost of bookshelves in the room amounted to US$17,500, putting the total cost to US$28,000.
Making remarks at the dedication, the Assistant Minister for Basic Education at the Ministry of Education, Felecia Doe- Suma, appreciated KEEP Liberia for its intentional efforts to create conducive reading rooms across the country, and thanked the organization for its contributions in the education sector. She admonished the students to delve into and explore the thousands of books stocked on the shelves in the reading room.
Speaking to the parents, she said, “The type of encouragement we give our children will enable them to learn. You may not be able to read but you should be able to encourage the child to read a book and explain the story to you. If he/she can’t read, but there is a sister or brother in the community or family who reads, that person should be encouraged to help the child. The encouragement we give our children will help them to read better,” Minister Doe-Suma stated.
Making remarks on behalf of KEEP Liberia, Brenda Brewer Moore, who is the Founder and Executive Director, encouraged the school authority to make sure the students utilize the reading room by opening its doors regularly, and ensure that the books in the room are carefully and properly managed.
Moore said the room is sponsored by 23 organizations and corporate institutions. She also encouraged the students to make use of the facility by building in themselves the culture of reading. She further pledged her support to continue working with the school if the first phase of the project, which is the reading, is properly developed. She mentioned that KEEP will train teachers on reading strategies and provide computer literacy programs based on how serious they use the room.
“I heard this school topped WASSCE last year, and I am happy they have reading room now. I will also say that I will not do more until I see the first phase of this project, which is the reading room, is properly taken care of. I do not have any political interest! I am not running for representative or senator position. Please allow the students to make the room their friend. We will train teachers on reading strategies to enable them to get some basic knowledge on how to use the room. It was not an easy task to get the money. We cooked jollof rice and chicken and called people to support our work. Don’t use the room as teacher’s lounge,” Moore lamented.
The room brings to 31 the number of reading facilities KEEP Liberia has established across 11 counties in Liberia.