Encouraging Young Readers in Arua

Arua Public Primary and Nursery School is located in northern Uganda, near the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. As a result, 300 of the 1,535 students are refugees. The school also hosts 130 boarding students.

Learning in Action at Arua Public Primary and Nursery School

The Deputy Head Teacher, Alfred, has worked at the school for 20 years. During our last visit to his office, he sat next to a tower of paper reams. Paper is one of the required contributions from students to attend classes. In addition to paper, they pay between 150,000 to 200,000 Ugandan shillings, the equivalent of 40 to 50 U.S. dollars. 

Despite its large classes of 40 to 70 students, Arua Public Primary and Nursery School boasts a reputation for excelling in inter school football, netball, swimming, dance, drumming, singing, and debate competitions.


 Library Improvements Provide Major Benefits to Students

Two of the teachers have completed the teacher-librarian training a couple days before our last visit. They were eager to transform their large, well-lit library into a space that encourages reading and learning. They were assisted in this endeavor by African Library Project volunteer, Tracy Gaestel.

Tracy is also a retired teacher and school librarian, and current mentor to the Suubi School Library in Uganda. She loves working with librarians to improve their libraries and provide the maximum benefit to students. During our visit at Arua Public Primary and Nursery School, Tracy picked books to display face-forward on the bookshelves. This small trick encouraged students to select their books quickly and afforded them more time to read.


You Can Promote Literacy

If you’re interested in supporting access to books like Tracy, please contact us today.  You can check out our Volunteer page for more information. 

About This Case Study Series

 Welcome to our Ugandan Case Study Series featuring 10 libraries recently visited by ALP Founder Chris Bradshaw and ALP Container Manager Tracy Gaestel. Chris and Tracy traveled to Uganda to meet with our partners at enjuba and First Foundation Education Trust. Enjoy this deeper dive into some of our Ugandan libraries.

 Collected on June 12, 2023