Every parent beams with pride when their children are studious and spend most of their time reading. It gives them the feeling that they are raising responsible citizens of the world.

However, having a reading culture has far-reaching benefits that exceed the pride and satisfaction of parents. According to research, there is a nearly symbiotic relationship between reading, learning, and intelligence. The analytical skills that allow you to understand issues and solve problems are the result of a lot of reading. Reading on a regular basis improves emotional intelligence, self-awareness, empathy, social skills, and the ability to manage relationships more effectively.

Reading also has a therapeutic effect and promotes inner peace, as well as slowing mental decline. As a result, the connection between reading, knowledge acquisition, intelligence, and personal empowerment is critical for economic and societal development. In the absence of reading, a critical mode of thinking and human development are lost.

But, these days, only a few young people appreciate the gift of knowledge. Most kids would rather spend hours seeing movies (seasons after seasons), playing games and goofing on the internet, than spend one hour reading. The advent of social media has really shortened the attention span of this millennium; we can’t afford to spend time to acquire knowledge and gain perspective through reading. According to the National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education, 38 percent of Nigerians are illiterate, with four out of ten primary school children unable to read for comprehension.

It is against this backdrop that Taiwo Adeleke Owolabi decided to step up and proffer a solution. Taiwo, a social agent who is passionate about transforming his generation, set out on Gift Books and Textbooks project under the DO-Take Action umbrella. The project falls under Improved Access to Quality Primary and Secondary Education; a program targeted to improve the quality of education in Primary and Secondary schools.

He carried out the project at Ipaja, Ayobo, and it entailed the following;

  • A keynote presentation on purpose in life; how to set short and long term goals
  • A keynote presentation on how to choose a career path, and life after school i.e labour market
  • Drafting of suitable reading plan and WAEC timetable
  • Distribution of books, pens, pencils, erasers, sharpeners, tissues, and nose masks.
  • The participants took the Improved Access to Quality Primary and Secondary Education knowledge test

In the course of the project, a minimum of 14 students was informed of the need to have a reading habit, and prepare diligently for their examinations. The students took the Improved Access to Quality Primary Education knowledge test and learnt how to draw a daily reading plan/WAEC study timetable. The participants pledged to advocate for Improved Access to Quality Primary/Secondary Schools Education within their community. A minimum of 14 students received books to prepare for their WAEC examinations.

Now, that was Taiwo’s contribution to achieving literacy in his community. What change are you engineering in your community?

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