The Gebeta Childrens Library has been serving the children in the Kebena neighborhood of Addis Ababa since its establishment on September 25, 2013. It is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, and often on weekends, too. Library users are generally children in Kindergarten to Grade 7 and the children's ages vary from 3 – 13 years old. Many are students who come after regular school hours looking for a quiet, well lit, place to study.
There is a regular read-aloud program on Tuesdays and the children are allowed to play puzzles and board games every Wednesday.
The children have established a sincere interest in reading books, as opposed to using the library exclusively to do homework and study. Now they try to read the books that were read aloud to them. Even when they are still learning to read, the children like to go through the books and look at the pictures.
The number of library members continues to grow. Young athletes from the Team Tesfa & WALL programs, as well as volunteers from abroad, regularly lead read-aloud programs for the kids. Volunteer Natan is pictured above reading to the children.
An important event for the Gebeta Library is 'Family Literacy Day' which involves neighborhood children and their parents. It creates an opportunity once a month for parents to spend some time reading with their children. This encourages the kids' desire to read more and improves the reading skills of the parents as well. The children prepare different activities to present to their parents on that day, like dramas based on stories they’ve read in the library, and songs that they’ve been rehearsing.
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