The words, ‘Once upon a time’, always signalled the start of a brand new adventure for some of us. As kids, it was a way of telling us that we could be anything we wanted to be; a kind stranger, a merry Mary, or a simple wanderer who waltz into a house made of food. These adventures always began by flipping the pages of our favourite storybooks.
When we faced Math problems and had to prepare for a test, we would open our textbooks to learn and relearn.
As kids, books were our escape shuttles to different lands, cultures and fun.
Now imagine never experiencing the joy of flipping a new page and wondering what would happen there. Imagine not being able to read when you want to, simply because, you can not afford books or have access to them.
Sadly, that’s the reality for about 60% of children in Nigerian underserved schools; some of which have never held a storybook or a textbook in their lives!
In 2011, we partnered with a Community Based Organisation in Ajegunle, Lagos State to teach about 150 young people like Sarah, Francisca, Kola, Isaac and their friends soft skills. They were eager to learn and desired to read books that will help them acquire more skills, but they did not have the resources to buy books or access to books. So we decided to start giving books to those who want to read, but do not have access to books. Since then, we have donated over 29,000 books in 12 States in Nigeria, Abuja and Ghana.
The Covid-19 Pandemic has made children in public schools, lose one year of reading, we want to close this Reading Gap. Reading storybooks helps to broaden children’s experience and perception of the world and improves their academic performance.
KIR Foundation will be 10 years on the 5th of February 2021 and we want to set up 50 Reading Corners in the 36 States of Nigeria and the capital, Abuja throughout the year.
On International Literacy Day, the 8th of September, 2020, we extended our Book Drive Campaign to a Community Primary School in Ogun State; Ajebo United Primary School, in Ikala, Ijebu-Imushin with a population of 155 pupils. We donated a bookshelf and 310 books (textbooks and storybooks) for the setting up of a Reading Corner.
Mr Folorunsho, the Headmaster of the school said the donation was the first of its kind in the history of the school and it will enable the school to set up a Reading Corner that will motivate the children to imbibe a reading culture.
WHAT WE PLAN TO DO
KIR Foundation will bridge this Reading Gap by donating 50 bookshelves; each bookshelf will be filled with a minimum of 50 books so that 50 Reading corners will be set up. Thus; children in underserved communities can have access to books and learning that improve the quality of education.
WHO WILL THIS HELP?
Primary school children in underserved communities, public schools and orphanage homes in the 36 states of Nigeria and the capital Abuja. Children like Shade, Femi and their schoolmates in Ajebo United Primary School in Ijebu Ode in Ogun state who received 310 books and a bookshelf donated by KIR Foundation on the 8th of September 2020, which the school used to set up a Reading Corner for the students. Reading not only broadens the imagination and perspective of children, but it also helps them to improve academically and gives them opportunities in the future.
WHY SHOULD PEOPLE GET INVOLVED?
“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr Seuss
“Reading is the gateway for children that makes all other learning possible.” – Barack Obama
Reading is a lifeline for many children like Femi, Shade and their schoolmates. Therefore, giving children in underserved public schools and communities access to books will open their minds, motivate them to read more, become better students, and more empathetic to those around them.
The importance of Reading;
- Makes all learning possible
- Improves academic performance
- Generates endless opportunities
- creates lifelong potentials.
- Makes it possible for people to succeed in life.
- Increases productivity and earnings
- Drives economic competitiveness
- Reduces poverty; severely breaking the cycle, improving health and nutrition
- Increases women’s labour force participation
- Creates multiple generational education
- Promotes peacebuilding, stability reconciliation and security while enhancing cohesion and the harmony within the communities and the larger society.
Kindly support this project by donating or volunteering. Please see the flyer below for more details.