It’s that time of the year when we reward our readers with books and treats. It was at this time three years ago that we started our journey together. Sharing books every week gives me immense joy and together with our host paper, the Sunday Trust we have managed to sustain this page for three years against all odds.
I have always said that I have received the most heart-warming letters from all of you. No matter where I am in the world and no matter how challenging, I try to get the page to my Editor. The very few times I am unable to deliver, due to ill health or extremely difficult circumstances, many texts come in the day after asking, What happened to our column or wanting to know if I am okay. I am indebted to all those who wrote in, who showed concern, who shared their fears and their joys. It is now time to reward you for your loyalty. I have however decided this year that we shall reward a different set of people from our regular readers. We shall donate books to primary and secondary schools that are encouraging their pupils to read and take interest in literature. It is through schools that we fell in love with books and through our school libraries. This competition which will also challenge schools to put reading platforms in place will earn schools that are already doing so books for their pupils or for their library. We will of course verify your claims by independent sources near you. Here is what you have to do.
This competition is open to all primary and secondary schools in Nigeria.
An essay indicating how your school is encouraging reading, no longer than 800 words is to be submitted. All essays must be written by either the school principal, head teacher or the literature teacher; English teacher in the case of primary schools. Essays must give school name, school postal address, a mobile phone number for contact, name of person writing the essay and position in school. If not written by school principal or head teacher, then it must be signed by Principal or Head teacher and a school stamp should appear on the essay.
FIVE QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU WITH YOUR ESSAYS:
These five questions are to give you a general direction of what is expected to form part of your essay.
- Does your school have a library and if it does how often do your students use it?
- These days children are attracted to social media and hardly read, what are the creative innovations your school has put in place to encourage your pupils to get involved with books and reading?
- Has your school ever won writing, spelling or reading competition?
- What kind of books apart from school texts are in your pupils reading list?
- How do your pupils pick up new words for use in their essay writing and how do you increase their knowledge of new words and how to use them properly?
These are just tips to serve as a guide. We expect that essays will come in with certainly more interesting stories including reading clubs and other such activities from different schools. We are looking for the most creative in getting young people interested in books and how schools sustain this reading habit.
HOW THE WINNERS WILL BE DETERMINED:
Three schools with the most creative essays about how they are encouraging the reading culture in their schools will get picked as winners. The winning categories are:
First prize: For the essay with the most innovative in reading and book related activities.
Second prize: For the essay with the next most innovative methods of getting pupils to be engaged with reading.
Third prize: For the school with an essay in innovative and creative reading which follows the second prize winner closely.
Getting children to read at this age can be very challenging but this is clearly the best stage. If they get into it at this stage, they get into it for life and that is a good thing especially if they are reading the right books. It is therefore of utmost importance that Primary schools should set the tone for a child’s reading habits. It will be interesting to see how primary schools try to get their pupils to read creatively, where reading is fun and not considered punishment or a chore. What determines what the pupil think about reading is often how creative the school is, in engaging them.
First prize will go to the school with the most creative and innovative essay on how they engage their pupils in the reading department.
Second prize will go to the school with the next most creative reading engagement for pupils.
Bonus prize: for the primary school which comes close to second place winner in this category.
- All winners will receive a certificate and a batch of books for their library.
- Our supporters have sent us a lot of books and we are still receiving books from our numerous fans nationwide.
- Principals or literature teachers who write the essays for the winning schools will also get rewarded with personal book gifts for their effort.
- All winning categories will get an interview published of the persona responsible for the innovative reading activities in the school. This can either be the principal who is the driving force of the creative reading activity in the school or the literature teacher or the Librarian.
- The no. 1 essays in each category will have excerpts of their essays published.
This competition is open for one month from the date of publication. The competition will close by the 6th of November 2013. All entries will be signposted as received on the date we actually receive them. Should you wish to send your entries by post please send them to:
Mrs Eugenia Abu
Through The Arts Editor,
The Sunday Trust Newspapers Abuja.
Announcement of prizes will be made by the last week of November.
Please note, there are no cash prizes for this competition; only books. Do send an sms if you need further clarification.
We look forward to hearing from you.