Project R.E.A.D. will provide homework assistance, tutoring and test preparation, reading and literacy programs, computer literacy, library skills, and mentoring and enrichment programs for school age children and teens in grades 1 through 12.
PROJECT R.E.A.D. (Restoring Education After Disaster)
ROL MISSION STATEMENT
ROL is an organization that endeavors to bridge the gap between the critically under-resourced healthcare and education systems of Liberia and first-world medicine and education.
Resources and Outreach for Liberia (ROL) is raising funds to support its Project R.E.A.D. (Restoring Education After Disaster) initiative in Monrovia, Liberia.
Project R.E.A.D.’s short-term goal is to start an after-school and summer enrichment program, targeting Ebola orphans and at-risk Liberian girls. Project R.E.A.D. will provide homework assistance, tutoring and test preparation, reading and literacy programs, computer literacy, library skills, and mentoring and enrichment programs for school age children and teens in grades 1 through 12. This is an open, drop-in program; no registration is necessary to participate in the program’s activities, but files will be kept on each child that participates in any of the program’s structured activities. Registration will be necessary for orphans and at-risk girls as they will be able to take advantage of our discreet free lunch ticket program.
Project R.E.A.D. has a long term plan of building a technologically enhanced, disaster-proof school and dormitory for Liberian orphans, who’ve lost parent(s) due to the Ebola virus and at-risk girls, with a curriculum that will enable students to continue their schooling in the midst of whatever disaster may come. The idea behind this initiative is simple; provide a technologically enhanced curriculum, school, and dormitory for Liberian orphans, who’ve lost parent(s) due to the Ebola virus and at-risk Liberian girls. This disaster-proof program will give students the tools and ability to continue with schooling under any circumstance. Project R.E.A.D. has also developed a slew of programs that will benefit all Liberian children as well, from The School Lunch Program (a lunch truck, targeting four heavily populated areas of Monrovia), a full-scale library, and media center, a drop-in-center (peer counseling), and more.
Project R.E.A.D.’s School Lunch Program will begin as an after-school lunch program, serving students, during the hours of operation in an on-site student-run cafè, selling reduced priced and more nutritious food choices than the usual street food options.
The goal of this program is to enhance academic productivity and life skills of youth in order to reduce the incidence of school failure, problem behavior, school drop out, provide a safe space to talk and go to after school, and to provide enrichment programs that range from reading and the arts to career development.
STATEMENT OF NEED
Liberia was devastated by a fourteen-year civil war, and just as a sense of normalcy rested upon the nation; an enemy that wields no tangible weapon confronted the country, the Ebola virus. The Ebola epidemic has devastated Liberia. According to WHO, this rampant disease has taken the lives of 7,693 people worldwide, has orphaned thousands of children, and has—understandably—incited the Liberian government to shut down the entire school system. The problem is Liberian students have been out of school for months, and now that schools are reopening, students have lost essential and crucial classroom time, putting them at a great disadvantage. With extended gaps in education, caretakers dying, parents being laid off, and the threat of Ebola still looming, the likelihood of many students returning to school appears to be bleak, especially with the post-Ebola hike in tuition fees. With no alternatives for many girls, this is a recipe for disaster.
Although the virus has not infected Ebola’s orphans, they are afflicted by a stigma that has left many of them without proper care and hope for the future. Many Liberian girls find themselves in a similar situation of hopelessness as they are expected to act as women when they are still children. In many communities, engaging boys takes precedence over girls. The young girls become breadwinners for their families, get married at very early ages, or resort to desperate measures to survive.
According to statistics gathered by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization), the adult literacy rate in Liberia is 58% and the literacy rate of females is a staggering 41%. The less education a parent has, the less likely they will be able to acquire a well-paying job, making it nearly impossible to feed their children or send them to school. Or if the children are being sent to school, they tend to drop out before completion or fall behind, due to a lack of help and support at home. The literacy level of a parent will have an effect on the literacy of their children, and many times the illiterate are those who live in poverty. It is a vicious cycle of illiteracy and poverty that must be broken.
In Liberia, one of the key barriers girls face is not having access to quality programs that offer a safe place for help, to talk, and to learn that they are capable of great things.
After School and summer programs are safe and structured activities that are held regularly during after school and summer hours, offering children the opportunity to become better students, learn new skills, and a place to talk about their issues.
These types of programs provide an escape from chaos and a doorway to the seemingly impossible. It is a gateway to opportunities, which is why a program like Project R.E.A.D. is so important. There is a need to create viable educational alternatives for students who slip through the cracks, because they have no support system, especially since many of them have lost family due to Ebola and war. There is a need for constructive activities for students when they aren’t in school as well.
Project R.E.A.D.'s programs will be administered by qualified staff members and consultants, who are experienced in youth and human services. Project R.E.A.D. will provide:
· Individual and group tutoring
· Assistance with homework completion
· Special projects and standardized tests (WAEC)
· Individual and group mentoring
· All mentors complete training and background checks
Youth Leadership Training
· Career exploration and life skills training (hospitality, customer service, etc.)
· Communication and decision making skills
· Problem solving and conflict resolution
· Opportunity for students to become peer mentors and/or tutors
· Community service learning projects
· Workshops (Arts, Physical Fitness, Business…)
· Focusing on prevention of youth violence, use of illegal drugs, teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, Ebola awareness, and suicide
· Computer literacy and computer lab hours available daily
· Library card program with a full library
· TV/Lounge Room with daily edutainment programs
School Lunch Program
· Nutritional reduced priced daily lunch options for students
· Regular priced food menu for all (Liberian and American classics, snacks, fresh juice bar)
*Adults may purchase food from the café, but must be in a to-go format
(For more information on The School Lunch Campaign, please visit the project's GoFundMe page, here .