In 2013 BFSS gave a grant of £6,630 to Lively Minds towards the Lively Minds’ Reading Scheme programme in rural Northern Ghana which targets primary schools in deprived and remote communities.
Lively Minds has developed an innovative, self-sustaining model to help children read. It provides primary schools with illustrated children’s books and trains Year 5 & 6 students (upper primary average age 12) and their teachers to run Reading Schemes for Year 1 & 2 students (lower primary ages 5-7). Year 5 & 6 students (“Readers”) then run regular story-telling sessions for all the children in the lower school (“Listeners”). The Readers develop confidence and become role models to the younger students. Thus the whole school benefits.
So far Lively Minds has set up 12 Reading Schemes in deprived primary schools and is on track to launch 30 Reading Schemes by 2016. 371 upper primary school children have been trained as Readers. These Readers read to 547 Listeners. Lively Minds has carried out reading assessments of 108 Readers across 6 schools at baseline and then after 6 months. At baseline 40% could not read 4 or more words correctly and only 3% could read a short story and answer a simple question about it. 6 months after attending the Reading Scheme 85% could read at least 4 words correctly and 65% had advanced their reading ability by one level or more. 16 teachers have been trained to supervise the Reading Schemes and more creative teaching methodologies are now in use in Reading Scheme schools.