According to UNESCO Nigeria has between 65 and 75 million illiterates. This is one of the highest illiteracy rates in the world. In addition to illiteracy caused by none school attendance; there is the problem of school children who cant read after spending six years in Primary school. The World Development Report 2018 of the World Bank also shows that only about twenty (20) percent of pupils who have finished primary school can read. Nigeria ought to feel endangered that half of its population is illiterate in a fast-moving technological global space and time.
Literacy development is fulcrum of educational development in any society. Schooling without literacy development is a wasted opportunity and a great injustice to children.
Literacy development is the stages passed through by pupils in building their reading and spelling skills. In the last decade theories relating to building literacy in children have evolved globally (Jolly Phonics, Oxford Reading Tree etc). Educators and scholars have proven that literacy development is a scientific process. Studies have shown a positive correlation between availability of quality reading materials and literacy development.
In summary the building blocks to literacy are:
General oral vocabulary development
Specific cultural and social vocabulary development
Speech to print knowledge
Above all learners need to be exposed to a variety of materials and activities such as books, charts, games, audio-visuals to develop their literacy.
Many educators have decried the gap in qualitative books for pupils especially in public schools and rural areas.
Tanar Kaduna Bookathon: The Concept
Tanar Kaduna Bookathon is a literacy development intervention modeled after both local and international bookathon projects (Flipleaves, Bookdash) but with some modifications by Tanar Educational Consultancy. Traditionally, Bookathons are events where books are collected to support a literacy cause. The Kaduna Bookathon would involve creative writers, teachers, artists, graphic designers coming together to produce books and other literacy building materials for pupils in public schools.
We intend to produce books and learning materials with rich local content that would help improve literacy development in Kaduna state.
Objectives of the Project
To produce quality books, charts, flash cards and posters with local content for pupils in Kaduna state
To promote collaboration among various creatives for educational resources development
To improve the creativity in the production of books and educational resources in Kaduna
To get individuals and corporate organizations contribute to literacy development.
Tanar Kaduna Bookathon
Tanar Kaduna Bookathon is a project borne out of a vision to improve literacy in Kaduna state. It gathers creatives and publishing experts to volunteer their skills to create more culturally relevant books and to make them available to underserved children, especially those in public schools.
To create books and distribute them to the poorest and most marginalized of children in Kaduna state.
Every child should own at least one personal reading book per year.
What is A Bookathon?
Tanar Kaduna Bookathon is built on a model designed by Bookdash in South Africa. It gathers volunteer creative professionals to create new, Nigerian storybooks that anyone can freely translate and distribute.
Why? Children in Kaduna need more books, but they cost too much purchased from publishers. So our participants do the work of publishers. Then anyone can get print runs sponsored and put finished books into the hands of children.
We believe every child should at least five books a year. This means giving about one million free books to children who could never afford to buy them. Every day we lose, more children grow up unable to read and write well, and to enjoy the worlds that books open up.
“Every one of us can help to give lots of free books to very young children. Most importantly, these books should be:
new, Nigeria stories
with characters they recognise
in languages they speak
beautiful enough to love for a lifetime.” (Bookdash Manual)
There are two sides to getting new, better books into children’s hands:
Book creation: writing, illustration and design, guided by an editor. (Output: print and digital files than anyone can download and share.)
Book distribution: printing, delivering and handing out to children and parents.
Bookathon is about creating books and supporting others in distributing them to children.
The book creation process (bookathon), is a single day when volunteer teams of skilled creative professionals come together to create new children’s storybooks in just a day.
Each team comprises a writers, illustrators, and designers.
The teams have five hours to create one book per team.
We provide expert editors, tech support, a great venue, great food and lots of coffee.
This makes Book Dash the cheapest way to give great books to little children.
What happens at a Bookathon?
A Bookathon Day is a 5-hour book-creating marathon. It will run from 9am to 2pm and a bit longer for the organisers. In that time, each team (writers, illustrators, designers) has to produce a finished children’s book, with the help of various supporting volunteers. That is a huge ask, and we are hoping all volunteers bring their A-game to the table.
Everything works well if everyone fulfils their roles.
Each book-making team comprise at least:
an illustrator, and
Their support team comprises:
a technical director
an art director (not always necessary if the facilitators can fulfil this role)
a social media supporter
Our research has shown that, Poor children, even those in the heart of the capital or major towns have no personal books in their home. Global studies have shown that when poor children are exposed to books, they start to read better (Krashen, 2004) and that the number of books in the home is a more significant predictor of a child’s reading attainment than the socio-economic status of the family (Evans et al, 2010).
But traditional book-publishing models aren’t designed to produce books affordably, for everyone. Children’s books are especially expensive which means that only wealthy families can buy them.
The way “traditional” publishing works means that books, especially children’s books, are expensive to produce, take a long time, and usually have to be subsidised by government textbook tenders in some cases. This means that the children’s books that are currently available in Nigeria, on the whole, tend to cater to the people who will buy them: wealthy, upper class families.
With the support of amazing volunteers, funding partners and in collaboration with our distribution partners (SUBEB, NGOS, Ministry of education, philanthropists), we can effectively override a seemingly impenetrable cycle of poverty and illiteracy simply by producing and giving away large numbers of high-quality, relevant storybooks to children.
At Tanar Kaduna Bookathon, we are addressing the problem in an innovative and unique way, using our strengths and connections to bolster the production of locally-relevant Nigerian children’s books. We will also deploy our expert knowledge of the production and publication process to squeeze out all the aspects of publishing that make it a lengthy and expensive process.
Let the children read again
For support or more information
Call or text:
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Post production and distribution of materials to schools and communities.
We intend to produce at least 10,000 copies of at least 5 books to be distributed to selected public schools in Kaduna State. We also hope to make ebooks available for download.
There would also be training sessions on Literacy Development for teachers and others involved in Literacy advocacy.
How you May Support
To support printing and book production
To fund the logistics of organizing the bookathon
To give stipends to participating creatives
To pay for and produce publicity materials
Categories of Financial Support for Tanar Kaduna Bookathon
Five Hundred Thousand Naira and Above
One Hundred Thousand Naira to Five Hundred Naira
Below One Hundred Thousand Naira
Technical and Material Support
Laptops and software to aid design and production of literacy development materials
Hardware and peripherals (projectors, screens, scanners)
You can purchase publication rights to some of the works produced commercial production.
Namse is an education development expert, teacher and publisher of the childrens classic “Fundamental Etiquette for Young Nigerians”.
Anita is a literacy teacher, dyslexia advocate and Business development service provider.
Ibrahim is a media communications expert and a visual artist.
Rahila is a certified pharmacist and literary enthusiast. She has worked with several development projects in Kaduna.
We look forward to your kind support.