22 January 2021
Kwame’s Adventures arrives in Tease!
The children's storybook created by Sennockians in partnership with students and teachers in Ghana is published and distributed
This week, as schools reopened in Ghana for the first time since March, 150 copies of Kwame’s Adventures were delivered to six schools and the library in Tease, alongside another ten communities.
This storybook was devised by students and teachers in Tease, working with the Sevenoaks School EduLit service team led by Ms Anne Durnford, and EduSpots’ Head of Literacy, Stephen Tettegah. Fleance Forkuo, a Ghanaian artist, provided the illustrations.
The stories were requested by Ghanaian volunteers and the book aims to encourage reading and engagement among students by providing them with a story with which they can personally connect, by recognising pieces of their own lives in the writing and illustrations.
One of the first children to read the book said, ‘I love Kwame’s Adventures because it talks about my community and this is the first time I am reading a storybook that mentions my community’s name.’
Richmond, a local teacher observed: ‘When the pupils were told that the story was staged at Tease, their own community, the excitement and readiness of the pupils to read Kwame’s Adventures was amazing! Teachers too were eager to read and were surprised and happy to see Miss Alice feature in the story.’
The print run in total was 1000, so in addition to the copies in Tease, another 850 books are being distributed to 15 other communities, with some being sold by Ghanaian publisher The Book Nook, and the online version also soon appearing on the Ghana National Library Authority App.
Joshua, a volunteer in Akumadan, was also excited to receive 40 books for his Spot: ‘I like that the book is colourful and attractive to young readers, and the use of both human and animal characters gets pupils imagining. The readers here are highly excited.’
The project has also had a significant impact upon the EduLit service group at Sevenoaks, with students building their understanding of both the Ghanaian context and culture through their conversations, whilst strengthening understanding of the relating to diversity and inclusion in literature, and how social enterprise models might be part of the solution.
The group are now working on the next book in the series, which is set in Abofour, where the first Spot was built. They are hoping to raise enough funds to print another 1000 copies of the book. To donate to support this project on JustGiving, click here.
‘I hope that the book is a step in the right direction to combatting the issue of white dominancy in literary resources. As someone born and raised in the UK, the abundance of relatable literacy resources had never been a privilege I had actively recognised. However, now I am able to recognise how literacy resources are dominated by western culture it motivates me further to look into diversifying specifically children’s literature.’
Alicia Ismail, Lower Sixth
‘Speaking from personal experience, being Asian, I had never seen representation of my race in the media or film industry, other than “token Asian” characters, until the film Crazy Rich Asians was released in 2018, presenting an all-Asian cast with deep and complex characters. This film touched me deeply and automatically became one of my favourites, simply due to the way that I was able to connect with the Asian characters and familiar setting. Experiencing this was monumental and in fact, even quite emotional for me. In the hope to be able to give just a handful of students the same experience, the Kwame book is greatly valuable to me, and I hope that people are able to see why this book and others of its kind are so important.’
Elena Tsang, Lower Sixth