Courtesy photo

Literacy: Boys & Girls Club of Malibu in partnership with Malibu Public Schools are addressing this literacy crisis with the Botswana School Project (BSP). Led by Brooks Kamanakao, Botswana native and Program Director for BSP, more than 250 K-5th students are participating in this fun program to improve their literacy skills, engage with students their age in Botswana, and learn how to be global citizens.

As part of the BSP program, students practice fluency by recording themselves reading books, and these recordings are then sent to the students in Botswana and vice versa. Students work on expression, pacing, stopping at punctuation, reading with the proper voice (intonation). The Malibu and Botswana elementary students also participate in pen pal letter writing to further enhance their reading and writing skills in a fun way.

Kamanakao, who’s had a fascination with his home country’s wild areas from a young age and is a long-time safari guide, also teaches the students about animal adaptations, the diverse cultures of Botswana, and the importance of conserving the fantastic wildlife that exists on our planet.

Early literacy, the development of skills needed to transition from learning to read to reading to learn, is foundational to later academic success and ultimately career success.