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Prepared for: Tim Ferriss
Project ID: LK-CRR-12-0015
Through your generous support, Room to Read established a new library in Sri Lanka.
The Sevanagala Primary School is located in Monaragala, which is the largest district in Sri Lanka. Monaragala sustains a population of approximately 400,000 residents belonging to the Sinhala, Tamil, and Moor ethnic groups. The infrastructure of the region is below standard and the roads are in very poor condition. The houses in the district are usually made of brick with mud mortar and roofs are covered with asbestos sheets or natural leaves. Most residents rely on agriculture and livestock production as the primary sources of income. These occupations are seasonal and can, therefore, create a great deal of instability. The typical household consists of a family ranging in size from five to six individuals. 34 percent of residents in Monaragala live below the national poverty-line.
Name: Sevanagala Primary School State/Province: Uva Province District/Zone: Monaragala City/Village: Sevanagala Grades: 1 through 5 Number of Students Female: 1037 Male: 957 Total: 1994 Number of Teachers Female: 63 Male: 20 Total: 83
The exterior of the new building
The district-wide literacy rate in Monaragala is 86 percent, with men having better reading and writing proficiency than women. Other challenges include youth either dropping out of school or attending school infrequently, teacher shortages and a lack of academic resources. Room to Read anticipates making a significant impact on both the quality and availability of district-wide education in this region.
Books provided by Room to Read on display in the library
The Sevanagala Primary School is approximately 174 kilometers from Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka.
Room to Read partners with local organizations in many of the communities where we work. Through this model we are able to leverage existing local expertise, build the capacity of smaller non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and expand the reach of our program. Working with local corporate and NGO partners also ensures the sustainability of projects as these organizations will remain invested in the success of a project long after we have completed our commitment of support. Our partner in this project is Socio-economical Ecological Religious Virtous Empowerment, also known as SERVE. SERVE was established in February 1999 for the purpose of improving the overall quality of life for children through programs provided to all without discrimination. SERVE has been supporting the implementation of Room to Read libraries since 2009.
Furniture and other resources provided by Room to Read
Students reading together in the library
Reason for Support
Reason for establishing the library, as outlined in the project application report: Educational resources are extremely limited at this school, and students are unable to access reading materials outside of their regular classes. This school also does not have enough space or furniture to establish a library, and the community lacks the resources to build a library on their own. The construction of a new, dedicated library will provide students with the muchneeded materials and support they need to practice their budding literacy skills and develop a habit of reading. The school principal, teachers, and local community are excited about the new library, and plan on contributing at least 15 percent of the total project budget in cash and in-kind donations. They also plan on forming a construction committee to help oversee the project. Once construction is complete, Room to Read will donate books and other materials for the library and provide three years of library management training and support.
A teacher reading to students
A student enjoying one of the new books
The completed library is a spacious 800-square-foot single-story building with lots of light and good ventilation. The structure is made of sturdy and durable walls, a concrete floor, and a roof with clay tiles mounted on a timber frame. The library contains an open reading area, two built-in cupboards for storing various learning materials, and display areas used to create a print-rich environment. The library also has two lockable cupboards, student tables and chairs, a table and chair for the librarian, and a veranda where children can read outside.
COMPLETION REPORT PAGE 2
To ensure the long-term sustainability of the libraries, Room to Read seeks community and school co-investment from the very beginning of the project. One of the most vital contributions the school makes is to select one or two school staff or volunteers to serve as librarians. Schools may also contribute to the physical location and layout of the library by providing an existing room to house the library or by renovating an existing room. In Sri Lanka, Room to Read further involves families and communities in the libraries in the following ways: Holding community meetings at schools to raise awareness of reading and the School Libraries program. These meetings also provide an opportunity for families and community members to learn how they can support reading both in their homes and in the school. Establishing Library Management Committees, consisting of school staff, parents, and community members. In some communities in Sri Lanka, the Library Management Committee has been instrumental in building reading huts so that children have a place to read outside.
Resources Provided by Community – 20.34% of total Sponsor Groundbreaking Ceremony; Sponsor Opening Ceremony; Transportation of Materials; Volunteer Labor Clean Water; Obtain Legal Clearances and Titles; Water Supply System
The School Libraries team works hard to select the most appropriate and engaging reading materials to stock the libraries. The Room to Read Book Publishing program in Sri Lanka works closely with the School Libraries team to provide culturally relevant and developmentally appropriate books for our libraries in Sri Lanka. In addition, the Sri Lanka team purchases books from local language retailers and publishers and receives English books through Room to Read’s global English book donation program. The books selected play a vital role in supplying students with relevant and engaging learning materials. Room to Read has provided the following books and other resources to this library: Resources Provided by Room to Read – 79.66% of total 197 English Books 130 Room to Read local language books 665 Non- Room to Read local language books Educational Materials Chair - Students; Chair - Teacher; Cupboard; Tables Book Display Racks; Building Design; Chair - Students; Chair Teacher; Construction Materials; Cupboard; Desk - Students; Desk Teacher; Display Boards; Doors; Educational Materials; Fans; Furniture; Monitoring and Support; Posters; Skilled Labor
COMPLETION REPORT PAGE 3
All librarians and teachers involved with Room to Read libraries in Sri Lanka receive three days of training per year for three years. These trainings build on each other and serve as a refresher course and a venue for working through problems that have arisen over the year. The Sri Lanka School Libraries program also supports educators by providing coaching and program implementation feedback during monitoring and support visits that take place an average of once a month over our three years of support. During these visits, our team oversees and supports library establishment, provides additional support for topics covered in trainings, and encourages school management teams to involve all teachers in daily library operations. Visits are conducted by Room to Read staff and partner NGOs. In the past year, the program focused on training teachers and librarians on how to best use the library period to support the habit of reading. Start Date 5/8/2012 Length of Training 1.0 days Training Topic Basic Construction Techniques; Building Maintenance; Early Childhood Education; Financial Management; Project Management; Specialized Construction Techniques Basic Construction Techniques; Building Maintenance; Project Management Book leveling; Creating a child-friendly environment; Engaging other teachers; Importance of libraries and reading; Library management; Library period and reading activities; Sustainability
2.0 days 3.0 days
The Sevanagala Primary School library will receive three full years of additional support from Room to Read, which will include books, additional training for the school teachers and librarians, support for family and community engagement, and regular monitoring and support visits.
COMPLETION REPORT PAGE 4
Photo of Dedication Plaque
COMPLETION REPORT PAGE 5