ZODML’s Junior Secondary Reading Programme (JSRP) was held at ZODML’s Community Library on February 16, 2015. The students of Aunty Ayo Girls Comprehensive Junior School and Ireti Junior Grammar School (both in Ikoyi) were the featured schools.
The selected novel for this session was Addy Learns a Lesson by Connie Porter. Amaka Okoye – the special guest and ZODML staff discussed the novel with the students and asked various thought provoking questions. The students had read the novel prior to this day and were able to interact with the speaker. Most of the students mentioned Addy-the main character of the novel as their favourite character because of her courage and persistence to succeed in the big city and Sarah because she was a true friend.
The book highlighted the importance of education, friendship and the true meaning of freedom. The guest author stressed that true freedom was not about having fancy dresses or material possessions but gaining an education brings the true freedom everyone seeks. The book also showcases the struggles of the black American slaves who had no opportunity to read and write but struggled to become educated. The guest also emphasized the need to help others and only by teaching others what we know, do we truly learn. She also discouraged the students from bullying or drawing lines between people because of their race, color and financial status.
Amaka Okoye read out her favourite part of the book which teaches the importance of friendship and persistence in learning. She encouraged them to remain focused in learning and not give up.
Towards the end of the session, three students selected top three from the group of participants– Salawu Rebecca of Ireti Junior Grammar School, Onikoko Amirat and Isiaka Abdulrasheed of Aunty Ayo Girls Comprehensive Junior School read out their extensions of the novel which they had worked on at school to the audience. Onikoko Amirat’s was selected as the best, while Isiaka Abdulrasheed and Salawu Rebecca came second and third respectively. All three were rewarded for their hard work and all the participants were presented with a take-home gift.