It was the end of this year’s reading competition, a contest designed to encourage literacy in the Seimat language of the Ninigo Islands, when little Jaspa stood for his turn. The event organizers had allowed Jaspa to join at the urging of his grandparents who had been reading to him at home, though they were unsure of how an elementary student would do in competition against older children.
The other participants had done their best, but when Jaspa confidently picked up the book, he had the attention of the whole community. He read the story fluently, and the audience erupted in cheers. One little boy had shown everyone that reading was no longer a stumbling block to education.
Watching Jaspa’s success was a highlight of consultant Theresa Wilson’s year. “It’s shown to the community themselves that when they read, when they help each other, when they help their children, that they can become a reading community.”
Written by Beth Matheson, told by Theresa Wilson
To learn more about literacy in Papua New Guinea and how you can be apart of the work click here!