Sister Schools knew that we needed consistent support in our Literacy Centers – more than American teachers could offer in a few weeks every summer. Our partners needed support from someone who knew what it was like to teach in a Ugandan classroom. We needed Ruth Nakkidugge.
A literacy teacher and librarian at Mukono Boarding School, Ruth had been key in the incredible growth of the reading culture at her school. When we approached Susan Wamala, the schools’ head teacher, about employing Ruth part-time, she was all for it! She knew that Ruth could replicate the culture at Mukono Boarding in other schools.
Ruth began running workshops each term, welcoming literacy and English instructors from our other Resource Centers to Mukono Boarding. In June 2018, twenty-six teachers from five schools arrived at the Center. According to Sheilah, our Field Coordinator in Uganda, “it was very educative and involving as Ruth articulately took us through the literacy levels and how to help our children become literate in a fun and inspiring way.” They were all so excited to receive this instruction from Ruth – and she was just as excited to impart her knowledge.
Running these workshops also taught Ruth a lot about herself: “I discovered that I am a teacher who had the potential to change others’ ways of teaching.”
In May 2018, Ruth and Susan had the opportunity to visit us in Seattle – not only did they get to say thank you to the students and donors made provided over 18,000 books that year, but Ruth also got to visit libraries and speak with local educators. This experience had a profound impact on Ruth: “I became a totally changed teacher who could make students love reading and learning.”
Not only have teachers at our five partners begun to shift their thoughts and practices around teaching literacy, but they’ve also spread Ruth’s teachings beyond their school grounds. According to Ruth, “teachers have now become resourceful to their neighboring schools and learning has become so interesting with the methods they have acquired in workshops.
Thanks to Ruth, not only were our Resource Centers running at the highest caliber,
but they were beginning to change the communities around them.