The Wife of the Kwara State Governor, Mrs Omolewa Ahmed’s Leah Charity Foundation will launch book reading clubs in 64 Junior Secondary School spread over the 16 local government areas of the state from this month
According to a statement by her Special Assistant, Lanre Bello, the clubs are part of plans by the governor’s wife to work towards the inculcation of the reading culture in every child in the state and encourage every child attains his or her potential.
Preceding this launch plan, the Leah Charity Foundation held a one week Reading Camp for over 200 students of Junior Secondary School from this 64 schools between the 17th and 21st of December, 2012.
The Camp which held at the Sapati International School on the outskirts of Ilorin, the state capital exposed the children to skill like reading, listening, comprehension, pronunciation, fluency, table manners, moral education, shared reading of drama, career talk, performance of drama and new words. They were most importantly instructed on the importance of reading as a life-long skill which is capable of determining the future of each of the children.
Speaking on her motivation for the programme, Mrs Ahmed recalled that reading had a pride of place in the scheme of things during her education in public schools and that it saved a lot of school children from anti-social tendencies which have now become common place in the country.
Promising that another set of schools would be invited to the Reading Camp before the end of 2013, Mrs Ahmed volunteered that: “… we would work with the children who made camp this year and their schools to start the Leah Reading Clubs in all the participating schools. Our aim is that by the time this camp holds next year, our current participants would be in a position to motivate their friends in the new schools”
She conceded that it was desirable to reach all the schools in the state within one year, “but we are constrained by resources hence this staggered approach which we are confident would in a few years take us closer to the destination of getting all our children to start reading again”
Speaking on her experience on the camp, Miss Boluwatife Oniosun from Ogbo Grammar School, Omu Aran said it was the best experience she has had in her educational career. The young girl who came tops in the reading competition which was held during the camp, and would be embarking on an exchange programme to Finland as part of the winning prize for the reading competition said further: “This opportunity has opened my eyes to the importance of reading, it has also thought me that my success can only be determined by only me. I am determined to go out of this place sharing these things with my friend and moving towards being the best that I can be”
In his short remarks at the closing of the camp, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed praised the Leah Charity Foundation for this important task that it set for itself. While promising that his administration would assist the NGO toward ensuring that the camp becomes an annual event, he encouraged the organisation to find a way of bringing in students from private institutions so as to foster healthy competition.