Public library holds Literacy Day festival

Last weekend was not your usual one as more than 300 children, parents and teachers from various primary schools across Kigali gathered at the Public Library in Kacyiru to mark the International Literacy Day, marked on September 8.

Last weekend was not your usual one as more than 300 children, parents and teachers from various primary schools across Kigali gathered at the Public Library in Kacyiru to mark the International Literacy Day, marked on September 8.

The event, organised together with Save the Children International, aimed to promote the reading culture among young learners.

Library and Save the Children staff read out Kinyarwanda books to the young learners (most of them aged between five and 12).

“The event also marks the beginning of the culture week. That’s why we chose to read Kinyarwanda books to them. Reading to them in Kinyarwanda helps build literacy skills; it is important to first learn in Kinyarwanda before starting the English curriculum,” Devota Kayitesi, the children librarian, said.

Bethany Ericson, a senior programmes advisor at Save the Children, said the festival was to expose parents and children to the importance of reading. 

“We are trying to open up people’s mindset to the importance of reading, especially the young to develop literacy skills,” Ericson said.

Christine Uwimana, the in-charge of publications at Save the Children, said such programmes interest children to pick up books on their own.

“We plan to hold more of such events because children responded better than we thought they would. They are eager to pick up books,” Uwimana said.

Keriya Ingabire, a P4 pupil at Camp Kigali School, said: “Most times we read books in school for tests only, but today, it was different. I would like to attend more of such events,” Ingabire said.

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