We came to Kasiisi in June of 2011 and worked exclusively at the Kanywara school, where the principal had requested we focus on the school goal of building a culture of literacy. We observed classes at all levels, led workshops for the teachers in methods of improving reading comprehension, taught demonstration lessons, and observed the teachers (in grades 5,6,7) as they practiced some of the things our workshop had introduced. Surprisingly, some of the teachers had expressed an interest in learning to knit; and since Ellen happened to be an experienced knitter she offered sessions at lunchtime. The teachers learned quickly and we have since learned that it has filtered down and that the students, too, are now making scarves. We were overwhelmed by the warm reception given us by both teachers and students and extremely impressed by how focused and hardworking the students were.
In anticipation of the library that was about to be installed we brought a small collection of books which we distributed in each classroom for brief (15 or 20 minute) periods. Because of the large number of children (40 – 80) and the small number of books, the children had to share – 2, 3 and even 4 to a book. Their enthusiasm was wonderful to see.