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YCC Ghana’s Genius Reading Club Program and Library Donations

Ghana kids books
Sweet Reading Club students from Living Faith

We have discussed where clothes you donate might end up, but what about the BOOKS you toss into the “Donation” bin?

Me, I only had a hazy idea of how my old tomes might be used. Did they find a second life as firewood? Toilet paper? Food storage? Sometimes I worried about my cast-off literature’s fate.

And thus it was with absolute joy, during the three months I volunteered in Ghana, that I learned of Youth Creating Change of Ghana‘s genius Reading Club program.

Listen to how this Reading Club program works, because it’s a format that could conceivably be replicated in any youth center from Boston to Bolivia… and beyond!

1. Organizing a Central Library: Instead of just giving the donated books away to individual students, never to be seen again, YCC meticulously organizes all its literary donations on handmade shelves in one central “YCC Library.”

Ghana library
YCC student, Shine, in front of YCC’s library!

Hard-working Ghanaian YCC volunteers carefully track each book that is checked out and returned.

If you haven’t been to West Africa, it’s hard to realize how important this grass-roots library is.

Why? Because Ghana, though it strongly believes in the power of education, has painfully few libraries.

And thus just like this, YCC has changed the face of its town for the better.

2. A systematic “Reading Club” structure for school groups. YCC has developed strong ties with 5 different local schools. Few schools in Ghana have resources for books beyond government-issued academic texts, so they are thrilled at YCC’s offer to have up to 20 students check out one book each, per week from the YCC Library.

Ghana school
One of YCC’s Reading Club schools: Sanity International

YCC then uses Ghanaian and international volunteer teachers (like me!) to lead discussions of the books twice per week.

On top of this adult-led literature time, Reading Club students are expected to meet on their own time outside of school at YCC classes to further analyze the books… and they do!

3. An giant incentive to really read. YCC’s Director, John, knows that sometimes people need a concrete reason to do something, even something as important as reading and discussing books.

Therefore, he and the YCC staff devised the brilliant Grand Quiz of Reading: an annual competition among all the 200 or so YCC Reading Club members in Sogakope, Ghana to see which students could answer the most questions about the library’s literature!

Do read the article if have a chance, because it was one of the most remarkable educational demonstrations I have ever seen… and it had a dancing intermission! Ever since the first Grand Quiz, Volta Region schools have been scrambling to join the Reading Club program.

Ghana school
Hooray for YCC’s genius Reading Club program!

And thus, let this article leave you with the following thought: there are remarkable people in this world who are working extremely hard, for very little (or no) money, in order to boost the education and opportunities for hundreds of youth in their small town.

And know this: if any of the books you’ve donated had the luck to be matched with a program as great as the YCC of Ghana Reading Clubs, and if books had the magic power to smile… your books would be grinning from spine to corner right now!


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Mairead G

Wednesday 18th of November 2015

After reading this article, I am going to try to donate books that I've read and really liked to help the children in Ghana. They seem to love reading because of the programs and book clubs they have. I hope this article also inspires other people to help out.

Cameron L.

Wednesday 18th of November 2015

I think that this article was great. I also like the idea that these books were donated to kids in need instead of them going to waste.

Marcel R

Tuesday 17th of November 2015

I love this article! It looks like they really like the books we donate to them. I am happy to see they have the ability to enjoy having the opportunity to read like we do.

Yukarie P.

Tuesday 17th of November 2015

It was interesting for me to read this article. I say this because there are many selfish people out there in the world who don't care about anyone not even the children without anything. In this article these people have a heart because instead of being selfish with the books they are being selfless by making a better future for others by accepting the YCC's offer by letting 20 students each pick out one book per week from their libraries. With this I must conclude that I would be more then glad to donate books to places in Ghana and hope for more libraries to be built

Xena T.

Tuesday 17th of November 2015

Wow! I think it felt good knowing what happen next after giving a donation, like books. Seeing the pictures of these happy kids with the books that people donated help me realized how much each individual can help a lot in this world, even if it's just a small thing.

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