Something as simple as a wooden paddle, typically used for cooking, can be used to tell stories and inspire artistic expression. It all started when Amowi saw a woman using a cooking cornmeal with a wooden paddle in a marketplace in Accra, Ghana. She asked the woman where she got the paddle, and found the vendor who was selling them.
Amowi bought a bunch of the paddles, and with a few coats of brightly colored paint and bold lettering, the paddles became more than cooking utensils.
The children use the paddles to spell out words and decorate. These literacy paddles teach the children in Ghana important reading skills in a interactive way.
Jennifer Campau-Boyd, a teacher at Barker high school and board member with Friends of Mmofra, was inspired by this project. Her classroom turned the paddles into characters from Anansi folktales.
Each paddle became character to act out the tale of a spider who was selfish, greedy and liked to get into trouble. The students created a production of the story that they performed in front of 150 little kids from the Central Valley school district.
They repeated the production in the Spokane public library downtown. Amowi said she was amazed that such a fun, simple idea could create creativity and