The world all over will on Thursday 1st February 2018 mark Read Aloud Day across the globe. This the entire membership of Read Ghana Foundation believe calls for a serious celebration.
Education, as we all know, remains the heart and the bedrock of every society and reading will also forever be the key to learning.
It is however sad to note that, the majority of our Ghanaian school pupils do not benefit from lessons taught at schools because they do not understand English. So what makes them not to understand English?
The bottom line will be because they don’t read.
According to research findings, children don’t read books because their parents don’t read books.
This suggests that children’s inability to read is as a result of their parents not reading.
There are a lot of activities parents can adopt to help their children overcome their inability to read but surprisingly most parents are failing their children big time in that regard and need to wake up and do things right this time around.
It is also very shameful as a country we have built several basic schools across the country over the decades in order to make education accessible to all Ghanaian children of school-going age but how many of such schools were built with library components?
We continue to do same even now but we ourselves again turn to cry loud that majority of our schools’ pupils cannot read. The complaint attitude is eating deep into our social fibre. It is high time we began to act as a country for things to change positively.
The culture of reading and love for books is something that we must all do our best to inculcate in the young ones at a very tender age and this cannot be an issue of our usual lip services.
Reading materials must be readily made available in large quantities comprising various reading interests for all learners across the country if Ghana must win.
On the part of teachers, from our findings, enough is not done in schools to promote reading among the school pupils.
Teachers should continue to do their best in the midst of challenging and very poor working conditions and be seen by school pupils or students as reading models so that, the pupils or students can emulate them.
This is because strong literacy skills form the basis for learning in all subjects.
Against this background, teachers at the Junior and Senior High Schools who thinks that it is only English Teachers that must be seen promoting issues regarding reading should desist from that. English is the mother of all subjects taught at school and for that matter, all teachers should be responsible for promoting reading among school pupils or students.
As a literacy foundation, we have observed that as a country we have not shown great interest in marking international days concerning literacy and its related issues as expected and things must change for the better from this year forward.
Against this background, we are appealing to all schools across the country to try as much as possible to mark this day in their own small ways.
This we believe will greatly create awareness among school pupils and the entire citizenry at large because the World Read Aloud Day calls for global attention to the importance of reading aloud and sharing stories.
This day across the globe will be used to motivate children, teens and adults to celebrate the power of words and creates a community of readers taking action to show the world that the right to literacy belongs to all people.
This day will be celebrated by more than 100 countries across the globe, so Read Ghana Foundation is of the view that, Ghana should not be left out of the celebration this year.
As a foundation, we will like to say thanks to people like you reading this piece who will make it a point to participate and spread the message across their various geographical areas within the country.
Reading aloud to a child we must all understand, is one of the most important things parents, teachers and caregivers can do with children.
Not only does it build a strong language foundation, but then it also introduces vocabulary and can help develop empathy, curiosity and critical thinking among children. This enviable skills will go a long way to help children in any aspect of life.
So, therefore, as people of Ghana, we all have a sacred duty and responsibility to spread the importance of the power of reading aloud and sharing stories with children.
So one will ask, what can I do on this important day? The expectation is that all Ghanaians especially adults must add their pledge to read aloud to the children at all times.
As we mark this day on Thursday 1st February 2018. We expect everyone to celebrate the day by grabbing a book, finding an audience and reading out aloud.
In schools, teachers should let pupils or students bring their favourite storybooks, magazine, scripts, newspaper, brochures, flyers, journals etc.
They should then ask each pupil or student to choose an excerpt to read to the class.
Additionally, teachers can hold classroom discussions about the power of literacy and how worldwide at least 793 million people remain illiterate and what must be done to reduce the number drastically.
Teachers should spread the power of reading by doing one of the following activities in the classroom under the following headings:
EDUCATE- Teachers should have several reads aloud in the classroom throughout the day and talk to the pupils about the importance of global literacy, marking this as a special day of reading!
ADVOCATE -Teachers should spread the word about World Read Aloud Day and the Global Literacy Movement within the school by hosting a school-wide read-aloud event.
They can make posters in the classroom advertising and be informing the school and community about the event.
Construct bookmarks with information about the day and tips for reading aloud to their peers.
INNOVATE – Teachers should share World Read Aloud Day by creating awareness in their various communities.
SONGS – Teachers should help pupils or students compose interesting and very educative songs on reading to mark the day with.
We wish the entire citizenry especially school pupils happy celebration in advance.
A reading nation is a winning nation and Ghana must win through reading.
Love Live Ghana
Long Live World Read Aloud Day
Long Live Read Ghana Foundation.