The Meru County Library will partner with schools in rural areas with the aim of empowering marginalized learners within the region.
The partnership brings together teachers from Meru County and American Friends of Kenya, an NGO, which will educate them on how to establish and maintain a school library as well as providing bulk lending services of books and educational materials.
Speaking during the mentorship forum held on Tuesday, Meru County librarian Mr Richard Wanjohi disclosed that the forum was aimed at empowering marginalized schools within the region.
The initiative will see teachers gain skills on how to maintain libraries and the need to establish and cultivate a reading culture in their respective schools.
“There is a huge gap in schools located in rural areas where academic institutions do not even have storybooks that children can read,” Mr Wanjohi noted.
“Through sponsorship from American Friends of Kenya, we support school libraries with books, computers and information materials. We also provide bulk lending services to schools whereby teachers can borrow books for one month,” Mr Wanjohi added.

Ms Faith Wanja, a pioneer of the ‘Successful People Read’ educational reading program and an attendee at the event, highlighted the importance of parents instilling a reading habit in their children from a young age.

“Parents should come out and start reading so that our children can learn from us,” she said.

“We introduced a family reading culture in Meru County where we have parents coming with their children and showing them how to read and this is a good example to our children,” Ms Wanja added.

She outlined the benefits of reading books to the community and the society at large, saying “through reading, you get a companion and a guide. At the end of the day we are going raise a community that is well composed.”

Ms Caroline Nkirote from Lailuba Primary School in Tigania East expressed her excitement and appreciation concerning the initiative.

“I am happy to have this privilege to visit Meru County Library. We have learnt a lot and whatever we are taking back to our village schools I know will definitely bring change,” she said.

“Parents in our region are too poor to even afford mere supplementary education materials such as story books and crayons,” she said.

Mr George Ikiugu, deputy head teacher of MCK Kiremu School in Tigania East said the training would go a long way in empowering them.

“We came to know more on how we can support our learners in terms of reading since we come from marginalized areas where learners are suffering and some have never seen a story book,” Mr Ikiugu lamented, adding that they would set up libraries in their schools.

The teachers expressed hope that such forums would provide an opportunity for them to aid learners achieve academic prowess and fulfill their academic goals.

Reported by Gideon Sobera, Evans Mwenda and Leon Mutwiri.


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