Thursday, September 12, 2013

Time to Read

By correctly spelling the word “descendant” young Mma won the spelling bee competition for children ages eight to ten years.  This was at the closing ceremony of this year’s summer reading program for kids organized by the American Corner Abuja in conjunction with the U.S. Embassy.

For two weeks the children engaged in different reading activities.  They read books, engaged in reading and writing poems, attended story telling sessions and even some arts and crafts classes.  The sum of the activities reaffirmed and helped the children see that reading could be lots of fun.

The spelling bee was quite interesting, with  three categories: children ages six to seven, eight to ten and eleven to twelve.  Even the adults there had to think hard sometimes to figure out how some words are spelled.  Where exactly is the “e” in discernible or does erroneous have two “r’s” or one?  It made me realize that in this age of Microsoft word spellcheck, I wonder how many of us would do well on a spelling bee.  Thankfully, it was restricted to the children.

U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission, Maria Brewer was at the ceremony and read a story to the children.  She was really great at storytelling, but then she has a four year old and reading is part of their daily bedtime ritual.  Mrs. Brewer said she has actually read the book “Llama Llama Time to share” by Anna Dewdney to her daughter several times and was glad to read it to the children at the American corner as well.  The story was about a llama (camel like animal) who did not want to share his doll with his friend and while scuffling over it the dolls arm was torn off, but was soon mended by Mama and the llama and his friend learnt a lesson about the importance of sharing.

A lot of prizes were awarded to the children in the various categories, including top reader, most enthusiastic reader, most improved reader and best participating reader.  Others won for best book report, outstanding poem, most creative poem, most inspiring poem and the best craft.  At the end of the program though, there was something for every child, and, best of all, new knowledge acquired and the creativity awakened.


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  2. Competitions that challenge kids to display their reading skills aid in encouraging them in their quest to be able to read as well as in making it interesting for them to explore their reading skills. This serves to make them keep enhancing the way that they read so as to gain recognition that way.

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