When we adopted the Big Hairy Audacious Goal(BHAG) of setting up 50 Reading Corners in the 36 States of Nigeria and Abuja the Federal Capital to commemorate our 10th Anniversary last year; we did not have the resources, nor the network or imagine how it will change our lives and those of our beneficiaries and volunteers. However, one thing we knew and we had known for 10 years is that children in underserved schools and communities love to read, but they did not have access to books, Nigeria indeed had been experiencing a book famine for decades.
The 2020 Corona Virus Pandemic worsened the situation by making our children in public schools lose 8 months of learning; we wanted to bridge the reading gap. One year later, we are amazed at the progress we have made; we have surpassed 50 Reading Corners and done 59 and we are in our 35th State. In the schools that we started with like Baptist Primary School in the heart of old Port-Harcourt; the feedback from the Head Teacher is that the children have improved in their academics and social skills. Our Reading Ambassadors who go to read to the children every Friday tell us that the children are always eager to see them. Some schools have incorporated Reading time in their Timetable. We could not have done any of these without amazing donors like you and our corporate partner; OctaFX; who saw us online last year, loved what we are doing, and decided to come along with us to raise a generation of lifelong learners! Our progress report for the second half of the year is below.
Our 33rd State was Kebbi State! The 54th Reading Corner was sponsored by OCTAFX and it was in partnership with Yahaya Danjada our Implementing Partner. Aisha, Suwaiba, and 544 of their classmates in An-Nur Islamic Science Nursery, Primary and Secondary School, Argugu. got a bookshelf filled with 160 books.
We set up our third Reading Corner and our 55th on International Literacy Day in Ademeg Nursery and Primary School in the slums of Makoko Yaba, Lagos. The school is run by a mobility-challenged youth, who is determined to promote quality education in his community. Thanks to the Sponsorship from OCTAFX, Nasiru, Chidera, and 44 of their schoolmates got a bookshelf filled with 162 books.
In the second half of the year, we set up two Reading Corners in Rivers State; our 56th and 57th.
The 56th Reading Corner was set up in Smart-Kidz Initiative for children that live in the slums of Rumuodara, Port-Harcourt, Rivers State. This project was sponsored by our individual donors and we partnered with the founder of Smart Kidz Initiative Mmeyene Victory Joseph on International Literacy Day to transform the learning space of our little friends; Joy, Essien, and 55 of their peers by donating a bookshelf filled with 182 books.
Our 57th Reading Corner was set up in St. Joseph’s State School Abonnema. It was also sponsored by our individual donors and we partnered with David Daniel a former TGIIF Youth Hub member who was doing his Teaching Practice in Abonnema. We set up the Reading Corner for Abiye, Ine, and their 250 classmates by donating a bookshelf filled with 165 books.
Our 34th State was Ebonyi State!
Thanks to the sponsorship from OCTAFX, we partnered with the Rotaract Club of Akanu Ibiam Federal #Polytechnic and set up our 58th Reading Corner in SSMB Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic Staff Primary School Unwana.
The Reading Corner was set up to celebrate World Children’s Day 2022 and our Back2School Project. Children like Joy and Ngozi with their 258 schoolmates got a bookshelf filled with 180 books.
Our 35th State was Jigawa State!
This project was also sponsored by OCTAFX. We partnered with YALI Network Jigawa State and Ibrahim Saraki to celebrate World Children’s Day 2022 with a Back2School Project by setting up our 59th Reading Corner in Al-niima Academy Dutse, Jigawa State. Bilikisu and her 159 peers got a bookshelf filled with 180 books.