“When you read, read, read, something magical will happen!”
October 15, 2018 By Carol Williams
“When I read, read, read, something magical will happen. When you read, read, read, there is something mystical!” This is the tune that has been playing on repeat in our heads since we heard it last month at the first-ever National Reading Day in Ghana.
The song was produced in collaboration with Ghanaian rap star and Worldreader Ghana Board member, Okyeame Kwame, as part of our mission to raise awareness about the magic of reading in Ghana and beyond.
If you haven’t heard it yet, take a listen to the song here. But, be warned! It’s extremely catchy so you might find yourself singing it for days.
National Reading Day in Ghana, launched on September 25th, 2018, in partnership with the Ghana Ministry of Education, was an incredible celebration. The event brought together the non-profit, private and public sectors to promote reading and celebrate reading initiatives across Ghana.
Here are 6 of our favorite moments from the event in pictures:
1. The Ministry of Education is Getting the Nation to Read
Two representatives of the Ministry of Education (MoE), Mrs. Felicia Boakye-Yiadom, Acting Executive Secretary for the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) and Catherine Pinkra, The Director of Pre-Tertiary Education gave examples of national reading activities taking place to create a more literate nation. Ministry representatives, including the Zongo Minister of Development, also participated in planned reading activities at nearby schools in Accra. The MoE donated over 800 physical books to the schools they visited.
2. Digital Reading at Scale
Our co-founder and CEO, David Risher, touched on the importance of scaling digital reading to really maximize the impact that reading can have on an entire nation. He talked about the work we’re doing to reach all 90 public primary schools within the Kwaebibirem Municipality in Ghana with Ghana District Scale and how Worldreader’s presence in Africa has expanded to 14 other countries since we launched our first project in Ghana in 2010.
3. Reading Festivals Bring Reading to Life
On the day of the launch and two days later in Kwaebibirem, reading festivals took place to commemorate the launch of National Reading Day. Approximately 550 people including students, parents, teachers, municipal education Director’s and staff and traditional leaders attended the event. Eight reading stations were established during the reading festival so that parents and guests could experience the different resources available to schools to encourage reading. Among the reading stations was digital reading on e-readers and mobile phones. The Ministry of Education also donated over 400 books to the municipality.
4. USAID Presents Mid-line EGRA Results
USAID’s Education Director presented USAID’s mid-line results from its Literacy intervention. The findings revealed positive results in both Ghanaian language and English, most notably in letter sounds per minute and words per minute. The full baseline report is available here.
5. Essay Competition Awardees Receive Recognition
As part of National Reading Day, Worldreader held an essay competition for upper primary students in participating digital reading programs. Of the 56 entries, 10 finalists were selected and invited to attend the Reading Day launch, where winners and finalists were recognized. All 10 finalist received a certificate of recognition and the top winners received medals and e-readers loaded with books.
6. Leveraging Music and the Performing Arts
The Achievers Ghana group performed a theatrical play on the importance of reading in the life of a young girl whose father wanted her to marry a wealthy businessman for money. The skit represented real-life scenarios young girls across the nation face every day. Learn more about the inspiring ladies of Achievers Ghana here.
Okyeame Kwame and his children, Sir and Sante, captivated the audience with their new song and video titled “Read” produced for Worldreader and shown during the launch. The audience was encouraged to sing along and to also use the song both personally and professionally to promote that reading is fun!
We couldn’t be happier with the outcome of the event: the enthusiasm around reading to create opportunities and improve lives was a joy to behold.
A big thanks to all of the participants of the event for making it such an incredible success. And a special thanks to some of our sponsors including 4DX Ventures, Afram Publishers, IBC Equity Partners, Fan Milk, and Ok communications. Amazon’s donation of 10,000 e-readers for digital reading projects in Ghana and other African countries is also a huge contribution we are very thankful for!
Learn more about our work in Ghana and how you can get involved here.