A 17-year-old student of William and Mary College in the United States, Samantha Boateng, is set to build a second library at Asuodei, a village one hour away from Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.
This new library’s location holds a special place in the heart of Samantha Boateng because 50 years ago her grandfather built a school for this same community that she will be adding on to.
Last year, Samantha started a project of building a library annually in Ghana. She built the first library, known as the Read2Lead New School Library Centre, at Gbawe in the Ga South District in the Greater Accra Region, in the Gbawe Cluster of Schools and its nearby communities, serving over 5,000 pupils.
As the Founder of Read2Lead, an organization that was created to breed the next generation of leaders through reading, Samantha Boateng, aided by her mother Francisca Boateng, and a project team from the New School of Northern Virginia, USA, they were able to gather 14,000 books to stock the first library.
Speaking to the B&FT Weekend, “she stated that it surprise me mostly when I realized that a developing country like Ghana lacks such facilities because in US in my community we had a lot of libraries all around.”
Academic Bowl Competition
To monitor and evaluate how the first library is having a positive impact on the lives of over the 5,000 pupils in the Gbawe Cluster of Schools and surrounding schools, that also use the library, Read2Lead is organizing a quiz competition for the pupils this Saturday.
The competition, Academic Bowl Competition, will see more than 10 schools in the Gbawe community participant to win prizes including tablets. Part of the funds raised will go to help maintain and improve certain aspects of the library in Gbawe.
However, there will be prizes which will go to the first top five students in the three top schools, in addition with other cool prizes like tablets, and games. After the quiz competition, there will be a funfair and other exciting activities for the students and the people in the neighborhood as a way of
As to how Read2Lead came about, she explained that “as an avid reader, it bewilders me that children my age have never stepped foot into a library nor do they know what one is. Books are so important to all people, young and old, to strengthen our minds and expand our intellects to be the engineers, politicians, teachers, and doctors of society. I want to help these children by starting an initiative called Read 2 Lead.”
“During our grand opening, which was held during the political year, that was last year, we took pictures with some of the political leaders which made people think the project belong to a one-sided party and this made them stop sponsoring us,” Samantha said.
Samantha also explained that the cost of income for most of the things needed for improving the project was twice the prices they had estimated.
Ms. Boateng hopes that in a few years to come her organization will add a lot of educational activities like bringing students from outside to teach students here in the library to improve on their educational background.
She further stated that “also we are looking for more sponsors to come support this projects more especially the oncoming event on this Saturday with food, drinks etc.”
The grand opening of the Asuodei Library will be on the 26th of June in Kumasi as that day actually marks the birth of her grandfather, the founder of the school to honour him.