Stories of Change

Students work in groups during a library training.

CWS efforts in Vietnam positively impacted 40,036 people in 69 communities last year.

Source: CWS Annual Report 2017

Students in Vietnam help make their library more child-friendly

Hoang Thi Nu is in fifth grade, which is the last grade of primary school in Vietnam. She is from the Thai ethnic group living in Moung Kim commune, where CWS partners with schools to improve learning environments for students.

Our team was introduced to Nu because she is an active member of the core student team helping to improve her school’s library. When we asked about the team, Nu told us that the head teacher and librarian of her school assembled the team last semester after they returned from a CWS-hosted child-friendly library training workshop. Nu and the other students received training from the librarian, with support from a CWS staff member.

“In fact, our school has an outdoor library for student reading,” Nu said, “And when our team was set up, a few team members and I were assigned to be in charge of this outdoor reading place. Honestly, at that time, my friends and I did not know about child-friendly libraries at all. All we could do was bring books to the outdoor space in the morning, and bring them back to the library in the afternoon. We repeated this every day.

However, things changed after the training! Now we know from teacher Phan, our librarian, how to make our efforts more useful and friendlier for other students to use our reading space. We classified the books by theme as well as difficulty to match student reading abilities from Grade 1 to Grade 5. Together with teacher Phan we also defined and color-coded book categories, and we guided our fellow students to understand the codes so it became very easy to use our library! Besides, we also know now how to record students’ time in the library and their book use.

I feel very happy that through our work with Ms. Phan, our library is now more child-friendly! It’s great that the use of our books is increasing. As I’m now almost finished with primary and will move on to junior secondary school in September, and I hope my next school has an outdoor reading space like this and I can continue serving my new friends in the new school.”