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Organization commemorates World Read Aloud Day in Anambra

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By Gabriel Chy Alonta

A non-governmental organization, the Universal Learning Solution says it is marking the celebration of the 2021 edition of the World Read Aloud Day across various states in Nigeria with its Jolly Phonics English Literacy Project.

Orient Daily reports that the World Read Aloud Day, an annual event celebrated across the globe every first Wednesday in February, will, this year, according to the group, incorporate a special focus on the engaging communities virtually to bridge the educational and emotional gaps created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a press statement issued in Awka, the Anambra state capital, the authorities of Universal Learning Solution disclosed that teachers and parents in Anambra state were invited to submit videos of their children reading fluently with joy in order to actively participate in the read aloud competition. It also said the organization would provide cash prizes for the national competition.

The statement notes that World Read Aloud Day is an opportunity for people around the globe to celebrate the joy of reading aloud and to advocate for stories as tools to build community, literacy, and equity. In the wake of COVID-19 and its severe impact on students’ emotional and educational wellbeing, this opportunity is more important than ever.

According to the Executive Director of LitWorld, the founders of the Day, Dorothy Lee,​”The ​World Read Aloud Day​ has become a movement engaging hundreds of millions of people around the world in standing up for literacy as a foundational human right. When communities have access to books that are meaningful to them, and tools to share their own stories, every aspect of life improves.”

She said LitWorld​ also provides a multitude of ​online resources including ​activity guides​, ​book lists, opportunities to arrange virtual author visits​, and more to help readers organize their own virtual ​World Read Aloud Day​ events.

Also, the Country Director of Universal Learning Solutions, Patrick Uzu noted: “We are using this occasion to showcase the tremendous improvement in the literacy skills of pupils in public primary schools across the state, thanks to the Jolly Phonics project. Huge improvements in the literacy levels of pupils have been recorded in Abia state and today provides us with a great opportunity to celebrate this great achievement”.

Orient Daily also learnt that Universal Learning Solutions launched a website (http://www.jollyphonics.ng) with free materials and guidance for parents and teachers to help children develop the key skills needed to read aloud with joy.

The day is being celebrated in Anambra state by the United Kingdom (UK), Nigerian registered non- profit organisation – Universal Learning Solutions, in partnership with Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board (ASUBEB) on the Jolly Phonics English literacy project in the state.

Recall that Anambra children had benefited from the Jolly Phonics teaching strategy which significantly upped their reading and writing abilities, and a similar project had been carried out in other states in Nigeria.

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