Sumbrungu — The Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (CESRUD), a humanitarian community-based organisation has organised a reading competition for selected basic schools in the Bolgatanga municipality in a bid to promote the habit of reading among children.
It was organised with support from the Friends of African Village Libraries (FAVL), an American based charity organisation, for five selected junior high schools from the Bolgatanga North and West 'B' circuits.
At the end of the contest, St Charles Jwanga Junior High School (JHS) emerged winner with 570 points while Sumbrungu-Kolgo JHS, Bolgatanga Nyariga JHS, Sumbrungu JHS and Atampurum JHS were placed second, third, fourth and fifth respectively with 507, 501, 456 and 436 points respectively.
The participating schools were awarded exercise books, pencils and pens.
CESRUD in collaboration with FAVL had over the years worked to improve quality of education in the Upper East Region and this has led to the establishment of three community libraries stocked with current and relevant books at Sumbrungu and Sherigu in the Bolgatanga Municipality and Gowrie-Kunkua in the Bongo District.
Speaking at the event at Sumbrungu, Mr Paul Ayutoliya, the Coordinator of the libraries, said that reading was the surest way of empowering the rural children with the needed information and knowledge to succeed, especially in their academic work.
In this regard, the Coordinator explained, CESRUD and FAVL's mission was to instill in children the habit of reading through making books readily available and accessible to all children, particularly the vulnerable.
He said, "CESRUD and FAVL over the years had organised numerous reading programmes in all the three community libraries with the view to promoting the culture of reading among students. These respective community libraries since their establishment have improved the quality of education and literacy in the lives of many."
Mr Ayutoliya disclosed that through Biblionef Ghana, CESRUD had been able to create mini libraries stocked with reading materials in 20 basic schools in the two circuits.
"These schools now have mini school libraries which have more than 400 books each made available to pupils and students who are distant from the community to also have access to information of any kind."
Mr Leslie Kasanga, the Upper East Regional Librarian encouraged the children to cultivate the habit of reading in order to broaden their knowledge and scope of learning.
The Regional Librarian revealed that 2019 has been declared as the 'Year of Reading' by the Ghana Library Authority, and asked parents to invest in the future of their children by buying books for them and encouraging them to read.