PRESS STATEMENT: THIRD EDITION AFRIGROWTH FOUNDATION FCT ABUJA READING COMPETITION
“Today a Reader… Tomorrow a Leader”
AfriGrowth Foundation affirms that a child without a good education is indeed a liability to the community (society). The Foundation strongly believes that the ability to read forms the base of a sound education. In 2012, AfriGrowth Foundation developed the Library Literacy Program to encourage the “back to reading culture” especially in underserved communities to reawaken a slumbering reading culture in Nigeria, through the provision of library facilities and other supportive systems. Since inception, the Foundation has established 41 Libraries in primary schools located in underserved communities in FCT Abuja, Nassarawa State, Ondo State, Kwara State and Delta State; and donated over 80,000 story books to date. The Program has impacted the lives of over 45,000 pupils; improving their reading skills.
AfriGrowth Foundation periodically organizes reading competitions to assess the impact of the Library Literacy Program. On Thursday July 1, 2021, the Foundation successfully organized the Third Edition of the FCT Reading Competition, in which 5 Local Education Authority Primary schools contested. The Competition held in the Foundation’s office at House 4, Victoria Garden Close, off Ahmadu Bello Way, Mabushi, FCT Abuja. This was the second and final phase of the Competition. In the first phase, the Foundation received submissions of videos from the 23 Local Education Authority Primary schools in Abuja. Unlike previous editions of the FCT Reading Competition, in which AfriGrowth Foundation limited participation only to schools where it has intervened and established libraries in Abuja; it spread the tentacles of participation to other schools. In each submitted video, the pupils representing the schools were captured reading a designated text. An independent Panel of Judges assessed the submitted videos and selected the best 5 entries, which are the schools invited to participate in the final phase of the Competition. The participating schools were LEA Primary School, Azhayapi, Bwari, represented by Chioma Emmanuel; LEA Primary School, Estate, Gwagwalada, represeneted by Mansur Umar; LEA Primary School, Bamishi, Kuje represented by Emmanuella Alormario; LEA Primary School, Iddo Bobota, AMAC represented by Cletus Victory; and Gadonasko Science Primary School, Gwagwalada, represented by Awelewa Elijah.
In her opening remarks, Mrs. Dayo Keshi, President/Founder, AfriGrowth Foundation said it was imperative for every child to become fully competent in reading in order to succeed in school and discharge even basic responsibilities as a citizen.
The Contest, which was highly competitive, was anchored by a panel of judges, which included, Mrs. Olaoye Bolanle Titilope, an English Teacher from Government Day Secondary School, Wuse II and Ihuoma C. Emeruwa, Executive Director, Favor Discovery Foundation.
Mansur Umar, representing LEA Primary School Estate in Gwagwalada Area Council, emerged the winner. This is the second time LEA Primary School Estate won the Competition; having won the previous edition held in June 2019. All contestants were given certificates alongside medals and branded AfriGrowth Foundation school bags and exercise books. The winning school, LEA Primary School, Estate and the school that came second, LEA Primary School Azhayapi, Bwari were given trophies.
Mrs. Dayo Keshi, President, AfriGrowth Foundation, presented the awards and certificates to the contestants. In the course of the presentation of prizes, she congratulated all the children for their outstanding participation in the Competition; stating that they all performed marvellously well. She said that as contestants in the final phase of the Competition; they were all winners. She encouraged the children to always strive for excellence and see beyond the prizes and recognition they received; as the competition transcended just award of prizes, but more importantly, the lessons learnt and exceptional efforts made.
Mrs. Dayo Keshi congratulated the teachers for their guidance in preparing the children for the Competition and awarded them certificates of appreciation. Mrs. Egugwu C. Obinne, from LEA Primary School, Estate, the winners of the Competition; praised AfriGrowth Foundation for organizing a legendary Competition. She said the school library, which the Foundation established in her school in March 2017 has indeed added value to the lives of pupils and increased their interest in reading storybooks. She pledged that the school will continue to work with the Foundation in inculcating a reading culture in school children.
Mrs. Dayo Keshi said the children have learnt a valuable lesson on the methodology of winning. She said that AfriGrowth Foundation will ever remain steadfast and focused in reawakening a reading culture in school children in underserved communities in Nigeria.