The world all over, it is very clear Christians are getting prepared in order to celebrate this year's Easter as usual.
This celebration has a very great significance because, it symbolizes one very important thing and that is sacrifice. This is the period we must all be seen doing our best to "die" for one another as demonstrated by Christ some years back.
As a literacy foundation and as we all mark this important celebration, we will like to point out that though we are living in an age of diverse forms of technological advancement, reading to kids is a very necessary thing parents must do even in this festive period.
The question we will like to ask fellow Ghanaians is; how do you as a parent or older sibling inculcate the habit of reading in your children or younger siblings?
It is clear based on reports from parents that, it is hard enough nowadays to get children to attend to their homework because of TV, movies, cartoons etc. Children nowadays, have much more distractions than ever. Thus from computers to mobile devices, to high tech video games, it can prove to be difficult to get children to pick books and read. Yes that is true, but Read Ghana Foundation is of the view that the involvement of parents in creating a reading culture at home has a direct impact on a child’s academic performance, cognitive and social development.
Reading has a lot more benefits attached to it and so therefore, in efforts to inculcate a reading culture in children parents must:
Make it very necessary to build from the bottom up because according to research findings, for there to be an interest in reading and an eventual result of reading culture development in your children and homes, knowledge acquisition should be a paramount family value.
Every family member should willingly agree to put in the necessary efforts to learn by reading whatever they can lay their hands on.
Make it a point to buy books that are interesting to children. It is important to stress that, at this stage the focus are your kids and not you. So whenever you take them to the bookstore, or when you go to pick a few reading materials for them, ensure that only what would interest them are selected.
As a parent you may easily give in to getting what you think is interesting to them whereas it only appeals to you. It is very important you give them the leeway to select their interests, as long as it is not offensive, even if it is comics.
It is a fact that gradually their tastes would change to more matured literatures. Make it a conscious duty to read to their children because reading to kids helps them to suspend their sense of disbelief temporarily.
In this computer age, the world they live in today is too real- realistic TV, video games, social media etc. Against this background, nothing seems imaginary anymore but reading out aloud to them allow them to develop better vocabulary and to generally have better use of language which are necessary skills in their academic pursuits.
Make it a point to teach children using the dictionary. Many children find reading difficult because of certain unknown words they come across in literature. It is clear that, with the knowledge of how to find the meanings of words from dictionaries, as well as using a Thesaurus, they would find it an adventurous and exciting experience to read as well as learn too.
This is why it is important for parents to buy dictionary for their children.
Create opportunities to read by going to the library with children, having books at specific places in the house- the kitchen, beside the bed etc. Parents can also have a specific area in the house that is comfortable for reading.
Parents can also make it a point to make sure time is allotted during the week or during weekends as reading periods during which every electronic device is shut down for a distraction-free experience with their children.
To conclude, it will be very good for an hour reading competition to be infused into the Easter Monday's activities across the country for children in the neighborhood by all notable educational stakeholders because a reading nation is a winning nation.
Read Ghana Foundation is of the view that Ghana must win through reading.
We wish all Ghanaians happy Easter celebration.