Education has been proven to be a weapon for the development of attitudes and values which are capable of building a nation. Reading is the foundation of education. Every child must become fully competent in reading to succeed in school and discharge responsibilities as a citizen. Recently, poor reading habits have occurred in Nigerian children because reading is not considered a relevant leisure activity. The acquisition of reading skills has a beneficial effect on all school subjects. Poor reading skills can make a child develop a poor attitude towards school and can create self-esteem problems later in life.
The library is the powerhouse of reading, which serves the sole purpose of promoting, propagating and sustaining a reading culture. One of the pertinent factors contributing to the poor reading culture in Nigeria is poor library facilities and at times, the absence of libraries in primary schools. It has been discussed overtime that the poor reading culture in Nigeria has led to the slow pace of social development of its citizens. AfriGrowth Foundation developed the Library Literacy Program to enhance literacy of children and reawaken a slumbering reading culture in Nigeria, via the provision of library facilities and supportive systems.
The Library Literacy Program is a special signature project powered by AfriGrowth Foundation to improve the literacy level of primary school pupils via the inculcation of a reading culture. This will be achieved through the establishment of library facilities in primary schools, complete with a supply of storybooks and information, education and communication (IEC) materials. The programme focuses on primary schools located in rural and underserved communities and employs a ‘catch them young’ approach that invests physical and human resources for literacy development of children.
The Library Literacy Program is designed to address some of the underlying causes of poor reading culture and literacy amongst primary school age children through:
- Providing a user-friendly space where pupils would feel comfortable enough to read;
- Improving pupils’ access to a wide range of reading books within and outside their classroom activities;
- Improving the capacity of government and schools to adequately coordinate reading activities for pupils, through strengthening of human resources;
- Improving reading skills and literacy of pupils through singular and interactive group sessions and cross-learning platforms focused on stimulatory reading activities.
AfriGrowth Foundation has been running the Library Literacy Programme since 2012 and 41 primary schools in Nigeria have been positively impacted by this laudable project. Presently, the Foundation is seeking to spread the tentacles of its Library Literacy Program to two (2) designated public primary schools based in Oyo Central Senatorial District.
AfriGrowth Foundation seeks to address the growing decline in the reading culture through the Library Literacy Program. The overall objective of the programme is to promote a reading culture amongst school-age children. The program is designed to address some of the underlying causes of poor reading culture and literacy amongst primary school age children through:
- Improve reading culture of over 1,800 pupils through the provision of user-friendly, conducive and stimulating library facilities in 2 public primary schools.
- Improve children’s access to books by providing at least 2, 000 relevant reading books and 200 IEC materials in the 2 school libraries.
- Improve reading skills and literacy of 1,800 pupils through singular and interactive group sessions and cross-learning platforms focused on stimulatory reading activities.
- Improve the in-school technical capacity to teach reading by providing sensitization and capacity building activities, including ICT exposure, for 30 school staff.