In Harper, the Reading Room serves 2 schools, the G.T. Brewer Public school and John Hilary Tubman Junior and senior high school which combined has over 1,265 students.
Established in the early 1920s, the George Tubman Brewer was built by the first Superintendent of Harper, Joseph Gibson. The school has gone through several locations transitions over the years and currently occupies the compound with the John Hilary Tubman Junior and senior high school. It is run by two separate and distinct administrations.
The building provided by the school was badly in need of renovation and in January 2020, an assessment was conducted and the work sub-contracted to a local construction firm who led in the complete renovation of the building.
The renovation and book stocking of the room cost U$32,000.
Gracing the dedication the Superintendent of the County, Hon. George Prowd noted how excited and happy the County is for such a much needed facility for its students. Superintendent Prowd indicated he feels sad for many students today as they do not fully enjoy the value and impact of books and of reading or have access to libraries. He went on to comment how reading is a problem in Liberia with many students unable to read according to their grade levels, hence another reason they find exams difficult to pass. Superintendent Prowd committed to ensuring support to the school and will pay particular interest in checking to ensure the school’s administration maintains the room properly.
Also making remarks the District Education Officer of Harper, Mr. James Y. Wilson also expressed pride and joy about the facility. He noted that when he saw the condition of the building, he had doubts the project would go ahead due to the cost it would entail. He expressed appreciation to KEEP Liberia and commended the organization on the work it has done in Maryland.
Speaking on behalf of KEEP, Mrs. Brenda Brewer Moore, Founder & Executive Director said her organization champions promoting literacy and particularly reading and that their goal is to cover the entire country. She noted that the Maryland rooms have given her a sense of fulfillment as her ancestors hail from Maryland and she is happy to impact the educational journey of students in the county.
Earlier in the day, there was also the dedication of the Reading Room at the Pleebo Demonstration School which caters to 2,100 students. The renovation and book stocking of the room cost U$19,000.
Speaking at the dedication, the District Superintendent for Pleebo, Hon. Aloysius Williams remarked on the importance of reading and how cardinal comprehension is to learning. He noted that the lack of reading is a disease in Liberia’s educational system. He encouraged the school’s authorities to work harder to make dreams come through. If the students fail, it means the teachers have failed and as such, they need to do all within their power to ensure the students perform well and make the county and country proud.
The District Education Officer Mr. William Kollie proudly noted that he is happy about the development in his educational district and how happy he was recently to hear that all 74 students of the school passed the recent regional exams as well as their participation in the Spelling Bee where they came 3rd nationally. He commended KEEP Liberia for the room and said the space provides additional resource for the students and has taken increased the value of the school.
The Pleebo Demonstration school’s Reading Room is valued at US$19,000.
KEEP is a registered charity in Liberia and the USA (#821262396) which supports various educational activities in Liberia with a mission to provide various resources that would facilitate access to primary education by engaging with parents, community leadership, establish community structures, and to promote social justice and development of vulnerable children and youth by strengthening their capacities. You can follow their work on www.keepliberia.com (blog) or website www.keeplib.org