The General Manager of Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK), Mrs. Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola has enjoined public and private schools across the State to enrol their students into the newly inaugurated LASPARK Reading Club to inculcate the skills of book reading among children.

Adebiyi-Abiola, who made the call during the 2019 World Book Day programme organised by the Agency in partnership with TOS Educational Initiative at Johnson Jakande Tinubu (JJT)Park, Alausa, Ikeja, stated that the idea behind the celebration is to promote reading culture, noting that publishing and copyright must also be entrenched in our literary culture as the State Government is poised to champion the course.

“This is an opportunity for stakeholders in the educational sector to reflect on the prospect of extending the rituals of book reading and incorporate children into this lifestyle for the country’s development”, she disclosed.

The General Manager, represented at the event by the Secretary of the Agency, Mrs. Esther Bashorun said, the theme, “Open a Book to Read even in the Parks” is in congruence with the Agency’s objective of growing traffic in its library by offering park users, especially children, the convenience of engaging their brain.

She noted that the reading club will present an opportunity for the students to meet regularly with Nigerian Authors who would read books to them in the best literary method to their admiration.

“In as much as we are determined to make children inclined to read books, the Agency is also providing the enabling structure that guarantees the pleasure that goes along with reading”, she submitted.

The LASPARK Boss advised parents that rather than allowing their children to cultivate the habit of playing games on phones, kids should be encouraged to procure edifying books to develop their knowledge.

In her remarks, the Founder TOS Educational Initiative, Mrs. Tai-Ololade Salvador affirmed that the literacy level could only be improved when children’s interest in reading is ignited, adding that this could be achieved when functional book clubs and libraries are created in public and private schools.

“The only way you can acquire more knowledge is through reading, therefore, students must cultivate the habit of going to the library to read; this will help you greatly in life”, she stated.

While calling on youths to cultivate good reading habits and be thirsty for knowledge, the founder urged students to desist from engaging in frivolous activities that could hamper their academic growth.

The holder of the Guinness World Record of Marathon Reading Aloud, Mr. Bayode Treasures- Olawunmi also graced the event to inspire the children as he read some chapters from the book “The Familiar Stranger and other Stories” by Fredrick Mordi.

He stressed the importance of reading as a means of acquiring and growing knowledge, saying that reading improves self-confidence, enhances creativity and helps obliterate a destructive attitude.