Ghana children’s verbal stories turned into school books

Folk tales come to life in print thanks to team of UBCO teacher candidates.

On the day the books are delivered to Bolgatanga

On the day the books are delivered to Bolgatanga

Verbal stories, handed down for generations, are now published in school books in Ghana, thanks to a group of students from UBC’s Okanagan campus.

The seven illustrated books were produced by Nabit children in the village of Bolgatanga, in the Upper East Region of Ghana, with the help of Faculty of Education teacher candidates.

The project is part of PhD student Cindy Bourne’s research exploring the design principles of global service-learning projects. Education students Jessica Bens, Holly Corbett, Meghan Epp, Alisha Hoy, Dorothy Marcy, Stephen MacInnis, and Sara Pereira worked with junior high school students in Bolgatanga to choose, illustrate, and write the folklore for the storybooks.

“Reading stories to children is one of our society’s greatest pleasures and it has lasting impact—opening doors to imagination, learning, and a love of literature,” says Bourne. “Providing relevant books that reflect their unique culture and the artistic talent of their young people was an honour and an experience that the teacher candidates will never forget.”

The Nabit are a proud people with a rich culture, explains Bourne. Much of the economy is subsistence farming, the region is one of the poorest in Ghana, and there are many challenges in providing education and resources. In the Nabdam school district, there are limited books available for children learning to read.  What books are accessible are often donated from overseas, and while helpful, are often not culturally relevant.

The UBCO students worked with two local junior high schools, taking seven local stories and creating English versions, English being the official language in Ghana. The students provided colourful images to go with the stories and translated the work into Nabit. The result is culturally relevant stories, says Bourne. And she describes the moment when community members opened the books for the first time as unforgettable.

Working closely with Ghana partners, Bourne and her doctoral supervisor Susan Crichton, developed the book project so it can provide Faculty of Education teacher candidates with an opportunity to use their knowledge in a meaningful way.  At the same time, they have helped increase English competency for high school students, and provide culturally relevant reading for primary students in Boglatanga.

Interest in the books is widespread across the Nabdam school district. Fundraising activities are underway both in Canada and in Ghana to ensure that copies of the books become available in the primary schools of Bolgatanga and there are plans for more books to be developed.

Meanwhile, UBCO graduate student Robyn Giffen has dovetailed her research with the Faculty of Education’s book project. Giffen’s master’s research is creating a writing system for the Nabit people so they can begin to write in their own language as well as in English. Giffen is studying anthropology at UBCO’s Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences and was in Ghana at the same time as the education students. Through the results of her research and the work of the local Nabit Language Committee, the books will also introduce some of the first Nabit words into print.

To view the books visit: http://issuu.com/ubcedo.

 

Kelowna Capital News

Just Posted

People at the beach in front of Discovery Bay Resort on Tuesday, July 14. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Heat wave forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap

Temperatures are forecast to hit record breaking highs this week

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Kelowna mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead

Pair discovered in their Vancouver Island home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

Central Programs and Services on Richter Street.
COVID-19 exposure at Central Programs and Services

Interior Health annouces a COVID-19 exposure within Central Okanagan Schools

Tony Costa/ Facebook
UPDATE: Out-of-control fire burning above Peachland

The blaze sparked on Sunday and is believed to be lightning caused

(Dave Ogilvie/Contributed)
Injured mountain biker rescued in West Kelowna

The mountain biker reportedly has a hip injury about 1 km up the Smith Creek Road trail

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Osoyoos chef Murray McDonald was ecstatic upon realizing he scored the $1 million guaranteed prize in the June 2, 2021 Lotto 6/49 draw. (Contributed)
Osoyoos chef ecstatic after bagging $1 million Lotto 6/49 win

B.C. lottery players have redeemed more than $44 million in winnings from Lotto 6/49 this year

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
UPDATE: Two churches on band land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Most Read