What are the project’s aims?
- Promote reading for pleasure and support development of literacy skills
- Teach basic communication in English language
- Help children become active citizenships in their communities
- Offer a safe place where children can be free to be children
Where does the project take place?
Activities currently take place in Saracuruna, Duque de Caxias. Duque de Caxias is a sprawling city in the wider metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro state that suffers from high levels of violence, lack of governmental investment in basic infrastructure and inadequate resources in public schools.
A long-term aim is to spread the project to other neighbourhoods in Duque de Caxias.
Who is the project run by?
The project was created and is overseen by Rhiannon Sarah Ball (www.rhiannonball.com) an editor and writer specialising in English Language Teaching (ELT), but wouldn’t be possible without collaboration from local teachers, social educators and members of the community.
Why is the project important?
As 30% of Brazilian households don’t have even one book* and Brazil sits in 40th place in the world ranking of proficiency in English**, developing reading and English skills is a challenge and even more so for children from disadvantaged groups of society who do not have the physical and financial resources to access additional educational support. In addition, many of the children in the target communities have adult responsibilities, such as working to help supplement the family income, taking care of younger siblings or elderly relatives or being alone at home from early morning until late at night. Simply providing somewhere for the participants to be free from their responsibilities is equally as important as the educational and social aims of the project.
(* Data Popular Research: Brazil into Perspective 2013; **http://www.ef.edu.pt/epi/)
What does the project offer?
The main activities are the English classes, which use unique material that is catered to the students’ reality, and the reading group.
Other one-off events are occassionally offered. In 2015 children were able to participated in a sports gicana. We have also held a sexual health awareness seminar for teenage girls in the community, with invited speakers from the local public health clinic and gifts kindly donated by Lush Brasil.