Baylor student and professor write book to support Ghana school
Last May, Baylor School of Education professor Lakia Scott and senior Branda Greening decided to go on Baylor Missions’ annual two-week Ghana Leadership mission trip. It’s an experience known for changing the lives of both the participants and the children they teach in rural Ghana — and that was certainly the case for Greening and Dr. Scott.
Going in, Scott told Branda that spring that the team would be working with students and teachers at a school in a small Ghanian village called Kyerekrom. It would be a good chance, Scott, thought, for Greening (an English, language, arts and reading education major) to get a different type of teaching experience, while also serving a community in need of education.
“I quickly learned when I got there that this was an environment that I had never taught in before,” Greening says. “There was a language barrier, and the lessons I had prepared really weren’t relevant to their culture.” At one point, Greening pulled out a typical map of the world and asked the students to point out Africa. She soon realized that an American-style map — one that didn’t have Africa as the center — was completely unrecognizable to them.
After two weeks of working with these students and teachers, learning about their culture and seeing the world through their eyes, Scott and Greening decided to co-author a book — The Children of Kyerekrom — and fill it with stories like Branda’s map moment.
“We came up with this idea of co-authoring a book and getting someone to illustrate it just to tell the story and celebrate the nature of Kyerekrom,” says Scott. “Our goal is to raise money, and we’re going to try to shoot for selling 500 books. I know that’s a lot, but it would do so much to help these kids. With the proceeds, we’re going to fill up their library shelves with other educational resources and materials.”
For this year’s Baylor Missions trip to Ghana, Scott and Greening plan to surprise the students and teachers each with their own copy of the book, plus all the funds they collect. And after that?
“I decided that when I go to grad school I’m going to focus on urban education and focus on teaching in multicultural settings,” Greening says. “I have a really strong passion for learning about different backgrounds of my students and making sure that I tune my lessons to those different backgrounds.”
Sic ’em, Baylor Missions and School of Education!