United Way Ghana collaborates with Ghana Library Authority to mark World Book Day 2019
Literacy is integral to the development of Ghana. Through education, the issues of gender inequality, poverty, intolerance and social vices can be solved and youth are empowered to live healthy and productive lives.
In Ghana, childhood literacy has been an area of major concern. It is recorded that only 1.8% of Ghanaian school children in public schools at the lower primary can read and understand what they are reading.
To address illiteracy in Ghana, United Way Ghana celebrated 2019 World Book Day by participating in a Kidifair organized by Ghana Library Authority as part of the Ministry of Education’s plan to promote literacy and lifelong learning in Ghana. United Way Ghana’s objective for participating in the fair was to encourage children to become avid readers and improve the reading culture amongst children.
World Book Day was instituted by UNESCO in 1995 and is earmarked for the 7th of March every year. The aim of World Book Day is for the world to celebrate books and reading. The theme for this year’s World Book Day was ‘Share a Story’ and was marked in many countries worldwide.
United Way Ghana engaged children in reading and word formation activities such as playing the game, “Scrabble”. Ninety children from over 10 schools were engaged in United Way Ghana’s activities. Many of the children, although unfamiliar with Scrabble wanted to play and had the opportunity to learn. The children’s interest later evolved into a competition between junior high school and upper primary pupils, which caught the attention of their peers and attracted a crowd. For hours children visited our booth multiple times to read stories and play Scrabble.
During the event, the upper primary children read to the lower primary children and won prizes for volunteering to read to the little readers who were not able to read on their own. Christiana, a primary 5 pupil said, “I am so glad I came to your stand, I have read many books for free”. Andrews, a junior high school pupil said, “After visiting your stand, I know that I need to improve my vocabulary so I can win the next game of Scrabble”.
Other activities during the event included; breakfast reading with the British High Commissioner to Ghana, lunch reading with Honorable Paul Boateng, a former British Member of Parliament, face painting, bouncy castles and children’s miniature vehicles and train sets. The British High Commissioner encouraged the children to read daily to improve their literacy skills. The Former British Member of Parliament, shared his personal story of his love for reading and how it has improved his life.
Marking the World Book Day at KidiFair 2019 made an impact in United Way Ghana’s effort of supporting the attainment of the 4th Sustainable Development Goal. This event has drawn United Way Ghana one step closer to promoting quality education.