The world all over, Christians are in the mood of celebrating this year's Easter as usual.
This celebration has a very great significance because it symbolizes one very important thing and that is sacrifice. It is a period we must all be seen doing our best to "die" for one another as demonstrated by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on the cross some years back.
As we all mark this very important celebration, we would 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.
Reading to kids each day should be part of our daily routines.
The question we would like to ask fellow Ghanaians is; what plans have you as a parent or older sibling regarding inculcating the habit of reading in your children or younger siblings in this festive period concerning sharing reading at homes with them on the birth and death of our Lord Jesus Christ?
It is clear based on reports from parents that, it is hard enough nowadays to get children attend to their homework because of TV, movies, cartoons etc. Children nowadays have much more distractions than ever before. 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 Literacy Ambassadors Ghana wants to state emphatically that, the involvement of parents in creating reading culture at home has a very great 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 a sacred duty to build from the bottom up approach 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.
On that score, every Ghanaian family member should willingly agree to put in the necessary efforts towards learning by reading whatever materials 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 should be your kids and not you. So whenever, you take them out 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 also a fact that, gradually their tastes would change to more matured works of literature.
Make it a conscious duty to read to your children because reading to kids help 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 is necessary skills in their academic pursuits.
Make it a point to teach children using the dictionary at an early age. 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 learn too.
This is why it is important for parents to buy a dictionary for their children. So, if you are a parent and your child is not having a dictionary, you should just do the needful thing.
Create opportunities to read by going to the library with children, having books at specific places in the house- the kitchen, sitting room, beside the bed etc. Parents can also have a specific area in the house that is comfortable for reading.
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 neighborhoods by all notable educational stakeholders because a reading nation is a winning nation.
Literacy Ambassadors Ghana is of the view that, together we can shape and change the future of education in Ghana through literacy promotion.
We wish all Ghanaians a Happy Easter Celebration.
Mr Mathias Tulasi.