Global Reading Challenge
There is a global reading challenge confronting almost every society around the world. This problem is being addressed through several interventions especially by more advanced and developed nations in the US, Asia and the West.
African countries face an even more daunting challenge in confronting the reading crisis on the continent. The good news is that something is being done about the reading crisis.
In Ghana, one non-government and non-profit agency with a hands on solutions approach is Books and Boots.
Books and Boots has been hitting straight at the core of the reading crisis since 2009 as an NGO and with an initial capacity of just seven volunteers.
Since then, the Books and Boots team has steadily grown to comprise of 33 reading volunteers, 5 reading ambassadors, a navigator and a country manager.
Keeping it simple
The Books and Boots concept works with a simple philosophy
To encourage and motivate children in their own communities with recreational activities in order to grab their attention FIRST.
Once you have a child's attention, you have a better chance of educating them.
Active Minds Reading Club, One Ghana, Oxigen and Ghana Volunteers Brigade are among long standing partners that have shaped the success of Books and Boots over the years.
Before the games, the books are brought in, spiced with spelling, fun debates, role playing followed by the game of soccer which is played in front of huge crowds in a selected community park.
This process is repeated in the form of a tour in other selected communities focusing on children from ages 7 to 12.
Books and Boots operates in communities (usually deprived) and involves all relevant educational and societal stakeholders.
The Barcelona potential
In March 2017, a delegation from FC Barcelona in Spain toured Ghana for three days to explore potential partnerships that involves adopting aspects of Books and Boots for soccer talent hunting using the core principle of reading.