It rained and poured on the first day we were to start the book summer programme yet it was as though the rain was sent to colour the event. It was indeed a great way to start. The programme started with a welcome address from the founder of Treasured Thoughts Academy and Miss Glory Maduagwu, Founder of Royalty Initiative (an organisation that promotes literacy also) began the main event by getting the teens into the ‘book mood’ though with a lot of fun.
It was quite exciting to hear them tell the the books they had read and also the books that they should have read and they had not read. Miss Glory accurately pointed them to the truth that they really weren’t doing well enough in terms of reading and most of them were resolute to be better. Also, very evident during this interaction were the notions and wrong perceptions many had about reading. By the end of the day, they saw the light.
Miss Arinola Okusi (a content writer and fashion designer) coloured the event more by going down into her childhood to present to the participants how her own journey in reading began. She had discovered a new word scallywag in the book Chike and the River written by Chinua Achebe. One day, she had an encounter with a bully (Miss Arinola doesn’t like bullies) and the bully began to rain insults on the other students. With fury, Miss Arinola called her a scallywag. A word that was strange among them then caused the bully to shrink and leave them in peace. However, Miss Arinola was soon sent to run an errand which would take her to the bully’s house. Your guess is as good as mine. She was frightened and began to prepare herself for the worse.
Well, when she got there, the bully told her father that Miss Arinola was the one who called her a scallywag. The father was amazed that a young girl could use that kind of word and asked where she had learnt to use the word. Miss Arinola then said she picked it up from a book. The man was amazed and turned to his own daughter and told her that rather than her reading like Arinola, she was busy with inconsequential things. Miss Arinola left the place telling herself she would devote her time to reading more often. Of course, she told us not to use books as a weapon for insults but rather the lesson was to see how reading makes us rise above our contemporaries.
This was just one of many of the stories and life experiences she shared with the teens. There were videos shown but one particularly was about a 14 year old girl who learnt how to read and cultivate the habit. She offered practical steps that can be taken to rise above our struggles in reading. There was also a slide presentation on how reading can help achieve one’s dream. We also had Mr Oluwaseun Abimbola (a writer extraordinaire) shed light on some other issues. In all, it was interesting, eye opening and informative. #day1wasawesome