U.S. Ambassador Deborah Malac on Friday, September 6 joined President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to launch Liberia's National Reading Campaign at Gray D. Allison School in Monrovia.
Speaking at the program, Ambassador Malac said the U.S. government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) was committed to its partnership with the Government of Liberia to improve reading skills in the country, and commended the Government of Liberia for its dedication to raising awareness of the importance of this empowering activity.
"When we teach children to read, we expand their life-long potential--helping them grow into productive, empowered and informed citizens."
She called for a united effort in drawing the country's attention to the critical value of reading emphasizing that the National Reading Campaign was for everyone, regardless of age and educational background.
"At the national level, let us remember that literacy is an essential foundation for stable and prosperous nations. "
"When young people become literate, they are better prepared to secure jobs that provide sustainable, fulfilling livelihoods."
In her address directed to the schoolchildren in attendance at the program, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said improving the literacy of the young people in the country is an urgent matter that requires immediate attention.
She encouraged the students to develop a habit of reading so that they learn and can be on par with other students around the world. She said reading is the key to education, and through education the children can aspire to be whoever they want to be.
"Teachers and principals, I encourage you to plan activities that encourage your students to read," President Sirleaf said.
As part of the launch of the National Reading Campaign, a Reading Room was dedicated at Gray D. Allison School by President Sirleaf and Ambassador Malac. A similar reading room will be dedicated at the Kingsville Public School in Careysburg on Friday September 13.
For the remainder of the school year, the National Reading Campaign will continue to renovate reading rooms across the country and will launch the campaign through special events in each county.