How building libraries improve child literacy rates
Literacy is a human right and a powerful tool for human and social development, poverty eradication, peace and democracy.
Many children in Cambodia have never had this right, especially in rural areas where schools are under-resourced and the standard of teaching is limited.
ChildFund Cambodia is increasing literacy rates in Cambodia by improving teaching, helping more children attend school, and providing new libraries.
Why are we building new libraries to improve literacy rates?
Sreymao is a Grade 3 student in a school in rural Cambodia. When she was in Grade 2, her library was small and only had a limited selection of books.
While Sreymao and her schoolmates were on their school break, ChildFund built a new library and stocked it with a large selection of books and tablets.
ChildFund has upgraded more than 80 libraries in rural villages in Cambodia and built more than 12 new libraries for students like Sreymao.
How have new libraries changed the average school day for children?
The library has become a popular spot for Sreymao and her friends during their lunch breaks.
“I am so happy that ChildFund built this new library that has many books, reading tools and tablets,” Sreymao says.
“The new library is also equipped with fans that make me comfortable in reading.”
“During the two break times, I always go to library,” she says.
How has access to new books improved children’s reading skills?
“Reading in the library helps improve my reading skill,” says Sreymao. “When I can’t read some words, I ask the librarian.”
The books at Sreymao’s library connect her to the world and also bring to life the Khmer legends that are an important part of Cambodia’s history.
“I like reading legends as when I was young my grandma read legends to me,” Sreymao says.
New libraries are encouraging children to read in Cambodia
Reading skills take time to develop. The new libraries built in Cambodia are encouraging children like Sreymao to engage with old and new stories alike, as well as providing a space for them to explore their imaginations.
By supporting the construction of new libraries in rural areas, we’ll be able to keep improving child literacy rates in Cambodia, and work towards breaking the cycle of poverty.
If you’d like to help provide children in Cambodia with books and other educational materials, consider gifting a charity gift from our range of Gifts for Good. You can choose to donate a selection of library books as your gift to children in need, which will be distributed among the schools we support.