Our aims:

  • to encourage reading for pleasure and information
  • to enable children in disadvantaged schools to improve language performance
  • to provide teachers with an additional means to teach language comprehension
  • to enable children to understand that reading skills are both important and pleasurable
  • to allow parents to participate in their children’s reading

Read for the Top encourages reading in students who either do not come from a reading culture, who have few books and other materials available to them, or who learn English as a second or third language. Students in rural schools in Kenya meet all three of these criteria listed and are greatly disadvantaged by hearing little English in their environment, yet all school examinations are in English. Since a child’s future depends on the results of one single examination session, poor reading skills limit chances of progressing with their education.

We provide books in English and in Swahili, which the schools keep for future use. The children read in teams and we provide an exciting contest to which parents are invited. The teachers talk enthusiastically of a change in willingness to speak and read English, in confidence, in team work and in examination results. The effects spill over into other subject areas because you cannot do a math exam if you can’t read the questions.

Read for the Top in western Kenya flourishes in elementary and secondary schools. We have a list of schools waiting for their opportunity.