Children urged to make reading a lifestyle

Donah Mbabazi

It was an afternoon filled with fun and learning at the Kigali Public Library as Bookie Book Bop club launched its ‘Reading for change’ event last Saturday.

The event that was held under the theme ‘Turning our dreams into reality’ brought parents and children together with the aim of promoting a reading culture.

Ngozi Odawayi the organizer and founder of the book club said that the event was all about highlighting the importance of reading and essentially nurturing the potential of children right from a tender age.

During the event, children (members of the club) set the tide right from emceeing to presentations and moderation. The audience was entertained through poems, drama and personal stories on how reading has impacted their lives.

One of the kids, Kali Kayonga a grade two pupil referred to reading as a tool that can change someone’s life.

“Reading can change our lives and it can help us become smarter. I would encourage other kids to pick up the reading culture because reading is fun and it can sometimes come in handy in some situations,” he said.

7-year-old Irene Ogbonnaya said as a club member, she has acquired the ability to read advanced grammar and this she said, is improving her grades in school.

“I am learning how to read tough words, and besides this, the club has helped me make friends.”

In relation to the day’s theme, Odawayi said that it is through such platforms that children get a chance to turn their dreams into reality.

“Through such clubs, kids get to share their dreams. You know we all have dreams but how do we turn them into reality? It is through action that makes a dreamer different from an achiever,” she said.

Ivan Murenzi whose two children are members of the club said that his children have learnt a lot during their time with the book club.

“My children have developed communication and public speaking skills through the presentations they make during their time in the club. They have also come to enjoy reading because I no longer have to tell them to pick a book and read at home, reading has become part of them,” he said.

Murenzi is of the view that when a person reads, they avail themselves with knowledge; this is why he encourages other parents to bring their kids on board.

Linda Kalimba another parent, revealed that reading has amazingly helped her child grow in a lot of ways. She said that all kids should make reading a lifestyle hence calling upon parents to be role models in this regard.

“If kids see this modeled in parents, coming to a library for example, and doing it in a fun manner, it will definitely be easy for them to have it as a habit or life style that they will acquire naturally,” she said.

Kalimba encourages other parents to come on board saying that the book club has big plans of expanding its outreach.

“Our desire is to have a reading program on TV where other kids can follow during the reading sessions. This can be a great way of increasing coverage.”

The event was organized in partnership with Afflatus Africa an organization that aims at promoting intergenerational exchange through mentorship and career guidance.

Source – New Times


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