We love to read!

Buk bilong Pikinini is seeing some amazing results with the children's ability to read owing to the hard work of our excellent Teacher librarians in applying our literacy and jolly phonics programme. Here are some of the success stories of children learning to read at our libraries in 2014. BbP plays an important role in bridging the gap for many children in their transition into the PNG school system.

Philomena Boski, 


Camilla Bullen, Australian Volunteer at our Alotau Library has conducted an interview with Philomena's mother Cassie Evennett. Here is what she had to say about her child's progress:

CB: How would you rate Philomina's ability to write words in English after she attended Buk bilong Pikinini library and have you seen any progress in your child's awareness of things like oral hygiene, road safety, environment, cultural identity and child's rights? If so, please provide a brief summary.   

CE: She never spoke a word of English ever before coming here to Alotau.  Before coming she just enjoyed her daily  routine of playing all day, and being the youngest and only female amongst a group of our nephews in Mt. Hagen, I think a lot of her days she spent fighting with the boys for everything, but she’s one strong kid  and she is really feisty. So yes a very big progress, she now understands the routine of the day, and identifies with her surroundings, she looks forward to go to school every morning.  Knows how to brush her teeth and at times reminds me that she needs to brush her teeth.   She enjoys being part of a group and likes to contribute her ideas and comments on certain things when we have family discussions.

CB: Have you seen any progress in your child's behavior such as obedience, respect, trust, compassion and kindness? If so, please provide a brief summary.   

CE: She is naturally a kind, obedient, compassionate and respectful child for her age but when provoked can be easily angered, and by this time she just shuts down and shuts out anyone – It’s a working progress, but I feel we are breaking through slowly and she is improving, collectively from your teachings at school and whilst she is at home.  She loves helping around the house, and is very eager to help, unfortunately she is too small and naturally at her age clumsy, but we give her chores enough for her ability.  She can now confidently say grace at dinner time (un assisted) and is a very eager participant with our Home Fellowship sing along, with all the songs she learnt from BbP.   She shares her things easily.

CB: Any additional comment. 

CE: I am amazed how fast she learns things.  She confidently shares and show things she learns at BbP Library with pride. Made lots of friends, of whom she is always very happy to see.  She loves  drawing, spells her name, spells out words she sees, writes letters down, she can confidently count, at times she will read the newspaper headlines or a book and call items in the house and sound the letters out, followed by a sound and then the letter, its very pleasing to see that, she is adopting what she is learning in the classroom/library and bringing it home.  I am very proud because she has come a long way within this 1 year and has a long way to go, she is looking forward to go to big school next year. 


The stories below have been collected by Elizabeth Omeri, BbP's Literacy and Cross Cutting Issues Coordinator.

Valence Haro, age 9

Valance Haro is 9 years old and comes from Gulf Province. (pictured above left)

She resides at the Kerema block, at the large 9 Mile settlement just outside Port Moresby, where the children have no options for going to school. The distance to the closest school is 4 buses away.

Valance has been attending the library since its opening in August 2012 and she is one of our success stories for the library.Valance has four brothers and sisters and she is the fourth born and has never had the opportunity to access books or structured learning.

Her dad works but does not support the family as such so the mother is the bread winner.  The mother does informal business to feed the family, she used to be a volunteer with HOPE Clinic but has stopped and is now concentrating on making a living for her family.

Valances' mother has noticed positive changes in her daughter and mentioned this to Sandy Kauk, the Head librarian at 9 Mile library. There is now a big difference in maturity between Valance and her siblings and her mother has great hopes for her daughter.

Valance never attended any school and BbP has made the best of her chance to attend classes and she has really improved in the last few months.  She can now read and identify all letters, numbers, and is learning from the extensive Awareness programme - enabling her to pass vital messages on to her friends and family.

Deborah Kakayo, age 9 

Deborah Kakayo, is a nine year old girl (pictured above right), who has never had any form of proper education prior to coming to the library located at Rabe village, Alotau, in Milne Bay Province.

Her father is an active member in his church music ministry and a subsistence farmer. Her mother is self-employed and although Deborah has to catch a bus to the library, both parents are very supportive of her education and ensure that she and her sister attend daily.

The library opened in January 2013 and Deborah has been attending classes since the very beginning and  has shown great interest in learning new things. She is now able to read simple books using her sounds and likes to read all the books on offer. She enjoys the educational art and craft activities, singing nursery rhymes and reciting poems. She loves to write and is an active participant in sessions.

At home, parents say Deborah is very helpful in the kitchen. She likes cooking and doing other similar chores. In her free time, however, Deborah portrays leadership qualities in her ability to gather other children around her and teach them songs and new words she learns at the library. 



Ester, age 5
This is Esther. She will be turning 6 in April and has been very busy learning to read at our Koki markets library.
Ester's parents come from Goroka and Simbu but the family lives at the 2 Mile Hill settlement in Port Moresby.
She has been attending library literacy sessions since the beginning of 2012 and has been enjoying all the great books in the library for over a year now.
When she first came to BbP, she didn't know how to read and write but after a year, she can now read stories with few words and has really improved in many ways. She has shown true confidence with the reading - she reads with a loud and clear voice.
Her mother told Elizabeth, that whatever she learns from the library, she shares it with her parents and family at home and they are all enjoying the changes in her attitude and newfound curiosity.
The book she read to her teacher Veronica Peters is called " My mum is fantastic" and she pronounced all the words very well.
Conrad Hilary, Age 6
This is Conrad Hilary.
Conrad's parents come from Manus and Goroka and he lives at the Badili settlement which is not far from the Koki Markets library.
He has been attending library sessions for almost 1 year and 3 months just like Esther.
His 18 year old big sister has been faithfully bringing him to the library every day. Conrad did not know much about books and reading when he first came to the library but all that has changed. He can now read and express himself very well, and his teacher said that he is one the first boys to do blending.
As you can see in the photos, Conrad is showing great confidence and cannot wait to take more books home to read to his family.
Rebecca, Age 11
Pictured above (to the left) is Teacher Librarian, Agnes with her assistant Grace with one of the parents of two children who made it into last year's Most Significant Change stories (BbP' monitoring and evaluations system). The oldest daughter Rebecca is one of the great success stories of 6 Mile library. Rebecca and her younger sister started attending sessions at 6 Mile in 2012 and had never been to school. On Agnes advice the mother went to enroll Rebecca at school and thought she would be enrolling her in grade 2-3 because she had never been to school before. The school tested her and asked Rebecca to skip three grades and do grade 5 thanks to her great reading skills acquired at the BbP 6 Mile library..
Once at school this year, Rebecca's teacher kept asking her which school she attended before getting into Primary and she told them that she learnt everything from BbP. Her mother has since been instrumental in providing information to the parents about the services provided by Buk bilong Pikinini in bridging the gap and preparing the children for school. Rebecca still comes to the library after school and her younger sister continues to come to the library.
Lusen James, Age 5
Here is a picture of Lusen who was one of last year's success stories.
On the picture above Lusen is reading Eric Carle's Hungry Caterpillar to his friends at the BbP Six Mile Library. Lusen attended library sessions for year and is now able to read independently and was often asked to help out in class. Lusen has now started school and we at Buk bilong Pikinini wish Lusen all the best knowing that he has had a great start on his education.
Lusen is from Popondetta and told our Head Librarian Agnes that he would like to be a teacher like her one day.