The afternoon of Saturday 12th of October, 2019, saw the commencement of the annual Bookville Reading Competition. This is the 3rd edition of this competition, hosted by Bookville World Port Harcourt. The event took place at the Rivers State ICT Centre aka Tech Creek. The theme for this year’s competition is “READ: Break Frontiers”.
The program kicked off with some opening remarks from the CEO of Bookville World, Mrs Nkem Asoka. In her address, Mrs Asoka briefly explained the purpose and aim for the competition, stating that it is the company’s passion for books, reading, the literary arts and all activities directed towards expanding, improving and developing the mind.
“We hope that by participating in this contest, the children will develop the habit of reading for pleasure, be able to develop their own style of spicing up literature and therefore have an incentive to continue to open a book to read. Most importantly, we hope that the children will come away from this competition with the confidence to take charge of their own thinking, the confidence to put forth their ideas and challenge other ideas, status quo, if need be”. – Mrs Nkem Asoka
She also went on to describe the nature of the competition by stating what the competition was not.
“Please take note that this is not a Spelling Bee Competition. Secondly, this is not an inter-schools competition. This competition is open to anyone within the age range 10 to 12 years who has a passion for reading. Reading not simply to pass examinations but in order to get an education across several spheres of life. Indeed reading in order to live so many lives at once through the pages of a book. Therefore, individual participants not representing anyone but themselves are welcome to take part”. -Mrs Nkem Asoka
For the preliminary rounds, there were 3 judges present and 46 contestants were cleared to participate. The judges used the criteria of clarity, diction, pronunciation, confidence, spelling, comprehension, punctuality and critical thinking to score the participants. The contestants were drawn from 12 schools based in Port Harcourt. 37 participants showed up on the day of the competition. At the end of the first round, 24 contestants were put through to the second round. At the end of round 2, 18 contestants qualified to go through to the third round. The event closed with 10 contestants qualifying for the final round scheduled to take place at the same venue on November 30th, 2019. The book in focus for that round will be “Agidi Sours, A Play” by Sehinde Arogbofa.
The winner of the competition will be awarded a plaque, a pack of books, as well as a brand new laptop. The 1st and 2nd runners up will take home a plaque and a pack of books each. There is also a cash prize for the winner of the Award for Resilience in the sum of ₦20,000.00 (Twenty Thousand Naira). This serves to encourage the contestant who fought fearlessly but was unable to make it to the final round. This prize is a donation from an Editorial Services provider, Purple Shelves Limited who are based in Lagos, Nigeria. This year, the award was taken home by Master Kamsi Ibeabuchi, a pupil of GreenOak International School, Port Harcourt. All other contestants will get certificates of participation.
Proving true to their word of catering to other stakeholders in the literary space, Bookville will also give awards to two parents tagged “Most Supportive Parents” of the contestants. This seemingly minuscule incentive is a call and an encouragement to parents to take an active role in facilitating and supporting their child’s learning experience.
Remember that if our children are to be the leaders of tomorrow, they need to be properly equipped in all ways. Reading and engaging their minds early in life will set them up to be the effective leaders we envision for the future.