SAVANNAH, GA. — In tonight’s dose of good news…
It’s something kids here might take for granted every day, the ability to have a textbook or any kind of book of their own.
A South Carolina man is working to make that a reality for all kids — starting in Africa.
“The teacher was using sheets of cloth with pictures drawn on them to teach kids the alphabets and numbers or fruits,” said Roy Austin/Libraries 4 Kids
Roy Austin saw scenes just like that when he went to Kenya three years ago — and it spurred him on to create Libraries 4 Kids.
Now, the program has helped students in 378 different schools around the country.
“Most of the subjects we had only one textbook. So that textbook is there but some pages are missing,” said Wanjiku Francis/Libraries 4 Kids.
Wanjiku Francis is the liaison on the ground in Kenya…Helping distribute books to kids in rural schools. Schools that only get $5.50 per student per year for education — including schoolhouses.
“You just look at them and say wow now this is worth it because this kid is already interested in the book that is there,” said Francis.
“Enrollment has skyrocketed since we got books. Scores are going up on the annual exams and parents are coming in in the evening for additional education,” said Austin.
What started with mailing a box of books from Bluffton is now shipping containers full of thousands of texts and novels — something to improve the education — and the lives of all these kids.
“You have an opportunity to make this person’s life better, easier than it was for me. To give these kids a chance to go to Form 1 or even make a complete English sentence. I am able to change someone’s life,” said Francis.
WSAV News 3 on your side.