Children urged to cultivate reading habit

Accra- Mrs Matilda Amissah-Arthur, former Second Lady, has urged children and the public, to cultivate the habit of reading, for its various benefits.

”Reading can open your minds and make you intelligent, reading can open your hearts because of the love and joy you experience through the stories, it can transform you to become better children,” she said.

Mrs. Amissah-Arthur said this on Friday, at the International Children’s Book Day celebration, which was held in Accra.

She noted that reading was one of the best ways of getting informed and educated about situations and events, which one could never had known.

The former first lady observed, that reading served as an alternate means of exploring, because whilst people looked into books for specific reasons, it was always possible to find from books, information which one had not even set off to find, thus, broadening one’s scope immensely.

Mrs. Amissah-Arthur urged parents and teachers, not to use reading as a means of punishment on children, but rather, encourage them to read, through pleasant means, in order to nurture their reading interests.

Mr. Guy Amarteifio, the Greater Accra Regional Librarian, appealed to the government, NGOs, business organisations, and all other concerned stake-holders, to come to the aid of the Ghana Library Authority.

He said for libraries in the country to survive, it was important for Metropolitan, Municipal, District Assemblies and opinion leaders, to see libraries as an integral part of the community, and support them.

The media should also collaborate with the Ghana Library Authority, to publicise its activities, and attract more users and sponsors to the library,” he said.

Mr. Amartefio observed that outreach programs by the Ghana Library Authority had shown that children and people in general were very much drawn to books.

He said it was not true that the new era of information communication technology had taken over books, adding that, ICT merely enhanced reading, but had not taken over books.

The Regional Librarian said if libraries in the country were provided with all they needed to operate effectively, they could serve their role of educating people, especially children more effectively, which was much needed for the development of the nation as a whole.

The day is celebrated annually in commemoration of Hans Christian Andersen, a prolific writer of children’s books, famous for his fairy tales.

The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor’s New Clothes and The Tinder Box are some of the books he is known for.

This year’s celebration was under the theme, ”The Small is Big in a Book.”

A number of schools ranking from the pre-school level to junior high were awarded prizes for participating in competitions, ranging from spelling to cultural dancing and singing, which formed part of activities to mark the day.

Source: Ghana News Agency