Start A Library is a Reading Revolution campaign initiated by Storymoja intended to:
1. Excite children about reading for pleasure through our Read Aloud events and Reading clubs
2. Increase access to books by forming or stocking libraries in Primary Schools. There are more than 20,000 primary schools in Kenya without libraries.
In two years, SAL has started 51 libraries in schools and centres across Kenya!
A Thinking Nation
A reading nation is a thinking nation, but unfortunately many public and informal primary schools do not have functional libraries. Start a Library wants to change this by providing primary schools with storybooks…the kind of books that will whet their appetite for books, and have them fall in love with reading. We want to help get high quality local storybooks to children; after all it is essential for children to see their world in books, and identify with the characters in the pages. Our dream is to see a book in every hand.
Did You Know….An Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development study (OECD, 2002) showed that reading for enjoyment is more important for a child’s educational success than their families socio economic status
Start a Library matches book lovers like you with future book lovers. You can spread the joy of reading, and donate books to schools to ‘Start a Library’. Check out our schools page to see some of the schools that Start A library is partnering with.
The Annual Read Aloud Events
The Storymoja Read Aloud entails children from different schools reading from the same text at the same time.
SAL organizes 2 major Guinness World Record Read Aloud Warm-ups annually
- Last Friday of January every year.
- Day of African Child -16th June of every year
- On June 16, 1976, young South African students were massacred in Soweto by the then apartheid army while protesting against the inferior quality of education and the use of Afrikaan language as a medium of instruction.
- In 1991, the Organization of African Unity, the precursor of African Union (AU), set June 16 as the Day of the African Child to honor the memory of the children who wanted easy access to quality education. Hence, the various activities celebrated on this day are focused on the theme of education for all children in Africa.
To excite children in reading activities with the target of breaking the world record by 2015 in reading aloud. The world record is currently at 223,363 participants in 909 venues across the United States
The National Record is now 142,279 participants in 360 schools across 6 counties!
The 1,000 word extract is taken from the KICD approved book “Attack of the Shidas” by Muthoni Muchemi. This book was commissioned by the Kenya Human Rights Commission. Statistics by research commissioned by the Kenya Human Rights Commission indicate that 12% of Kenyan children in primary school have actively been part of a conversation about kicking another community out of their neighbourhood. A third of the Kenyan children also feel that their tribe is superior to the others.
The book is about invisible aliens who suck water out of the only borehole in town. Tension mounts as the three communities living in that city accuse and argue with each other over the dwindling supply of water. Can three children from the different communities unite in time to stop the alien thieves before their town breaks into war? This stimulating and engaging book entertains children while subtly teaching important lessons on eliminating harmful social and cultural practices affecting children.
Themes in the book
Three themes that come out strongly in this book are: a) United we stand, divided we fall b) Disability is not inability (The heroine in the book is blind) c) Children are the change agents in the society
Start A Library at the Storymoja Festival
The Storymoja Festival is not only a five-day international celebration of ideas, stories, writing and culture through books, live discussions, storytelling, skits, music, demonstrations, workshops, open-mike sessions, debates, exhibitions, live performances and competitions, but an event that opens up a world of possibilities for children who love or are learning to love to read.
Every year, premium events within the Storymoja Festival help to raise funds to buy more books for libraries all over the country. In addition, the Jaza Matatu na Vitabu initiative allows festival goers to bring books new and old that will benefit specific libraries that desperately need books!