Sharing the Joy of Reading

September 26, 2013 3:20 pm Published by

 Guest blogger, Nina McManus, is a JBFC Ambassador, who decided to raise money to provide electronic readers for the students of JBFC. She raised $15,000 in less than six months (click here to read more about her project, Share the Joy of Reading). In this blog, she tells us how she introduced the eReaders to the kids in Tanzania. 

This past June I traveled to JBFC for a second time. At first I was nervous that the girls wouldn’t remember me from last summer, but as soon I saw their smiling faces, I knew that I had nothing to worry about. They were so excited to see me again and the other Bronxville students who were also returning. They were even more excited when I told them about the Kobo Mini eReaders that I brought over with me. 

I began to teach the students of Joseph and Mary how to use the eReaders around five days into the trip. First I taught Form One, the American equivalent of Eighth grade, followed by Grade Three just a few days after. The children were so excited to be exposed to new technology that would help them in the classroom and very anxious to begin the lesson. It took a while to get the hang of this foreign contraption, but they were very determined to understand the full extent of its capabilities. The students of Form One were amazed that something so small could hold millions of books on it and could highlight words and take notes on the highlighted phrases. At the end of their lesson, they begged me to return to the classroom another day to teach them even more about the Kobos. 
My lesson with Grade Three, however, did not go as smoothly. The short attention-span of the students made it difficult for me to introduce so many complex steps and concepts in just one sitting. While I was very discouraged at the end of my lesson, I later realized that it did not reflect my teaching ability, it simply meant that during the initial introduction of the Kobos in the school, they should be limited to the older students, who are a little more mature. JBFC has since re-assigned the Kobos to the 5th graders, who are currently learning how to use them to maximize their learning. 
The JBFC girls in Grade Three were very attentive, though, and asked me to continue the lesson the following day. The four girls successfully mastered the Kobo and spent hours reading chapter books on it. Overall, I am very excited about how the Kobos are being integrated into the girls’ and students’ day-to-day lives in and out of the classroom. Chris feels that my lessons went very well and that the EReader project is heading in the right direction. Soon I will begin to fundraise again in order to purchase more Kobos for the library and provide the children with more ebooks.

Nina McManus is a senior at Bronxville High School in New York.

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This post was written by Mainsprings