The Manitoba Council of Reading Clinicians is honored to have the opportunity to support international literacy outreach through our very own executive member, Monica Wiebe.
Since Jan. 28, 2007 Monica has been a friend to the teachers and students at St. Jude Primary School in the village of Bukoto, near Masaka, Uganda. Monica taught for almost 3 months in early 2007 using only a teacher book and chalk, a stark contrast to the Smartboards, ebooks and libraries she was used to in Winnipeg. Teaching English to students who had never held a book was a challenge like none other, but Monica successfully accomplished her mission.
In 2009, after collecting donations from family, friends and our very own MCRC, Monica returned to Uganda, with enough funds to start a small library. Textbooks were also purchased, that proved to be valuable resources when teaching complexities such as the digestive system! The focus remained primarily on Agriculture, Science and English books for Primary/grade 2-7.
In 2012, Monica returned to Uganda with even more financial support from friends, family and the MCRC. With this money, Monica was able to replenish books, purchase playground equipment, build a water tank designed to store rain water, and purchase mosquito nets for the dorm.
During all this time Monica instilled a love of reading for fun with all she met. Rural Uganda is not extremely literate; however students who excel can get scholarships to university. Reading for fun is not common in the country side, mainly because work is manual, plentiful and exhausting.
Today Monica continues to seek funds to help the school replace textbooks and provide new materials that will enhance literacy for this small rural community. Through the support of donations, Monica endeavors to send money once a year. The school year begins in February, and $1900 US was sent on March 1, 2017. The MCRC supported Monica in achieving this goal. Recently Monica received a package with 51 thank you letters from Primary 5/6 students! The letters were heartfelt and gracious, and brought season’s greetings to all who had supported this project.
Click here to watch a video and learn more about The Book Project since it’s inception in 2007. See first hand the amazing changes Monica has helped to achieve!