This collection of 50 Liberian Folk Tales is a long overdue treasure missing in Liberian schools. Most Liberian schools do not have a library. Those that do often have discarded books from schools in Europe and North America. Those books do not contain stories that are culturally relevant to Liberian students. However, these Liberian Folk Tales will help to preserve the culture. They capture the attention of young readers. They are stories that the children will want to read.
Liberian education is emerging from years of civil war and the Ebola crisis of 2014. However, information gathered by USAID indicates that Liberia is significantly behind most other African nations in nearly all educational statistics. For example, the percentage of primary age youth attending Liberian primary schools is only 44%. Most schools do not possess textbooks. They do not have libraries. There are no books for children to take home and read for pleasure.
This collection of stories would benefit all children who have access to it. Pre-primary children could have the stories read to them by parents or siblings before they even enter a classroom door. If students have access to this collection and can take home copies, it has the possibility to interest girls, who frequently are not given the same educational opportunities as boys in the country.
Folktales provide content that appeals to all ages, crossing gender, age groups, income levels, and minorities. Not only will these tales enhance the education and lives of Liberian students, but they will also help to spread Liberian culture around the globe. Librarians, teachers, and parents around the planet will share a little Liberian culture with their children as they learn about Spider, some African food, and tales from a culture they may not have ever otherwise known and everyone wins.