Readwide Limited, publishers and distributors of first-rate books, has initiated a five-year nationwide campaign dubbed ‘Read for Life” to revive the culture of reading for pleasure among Ghanaians, particularly students and pupils.

The Mountcrest University College-sponsored campaign, which aims at encouraging parents and schools to help children to read for pleasure to shore up the literacy rate in the country was launched at the Wesley Girls’ High School in Cape Coast.

Director of Readwide Limited, Mrs Irene Ansa-Asare Horsham, who launched the campaign made an appeal to Ghanaians to support the crusade to promote positive reading habits among the citizenry.

Mrs Irene Ansa-Asare Horsham averred, the campaign had already received very positive and encouraging response from schools through their willingness and enthusiasm in establishing Readwide readers’ clubs and permitting Readwide to adopt existing Writers, Debaters, and Drama clubs.

“It is in this vein that we welcome the partnership and support of parents, schools, the government, the media and the private sector to make this pledge a reality.  We know that it is very ambitious but we firmly believe and are optimistic that it can be done if we all get involved,” the Director stressed.

According to the project, each month, selected books would be announced for the reading pleasure of patrons of the “Read for Life Campaign” and a competition activated to pick the best readers for special awards and recognition.

Two books – “Changes” and “Miss John” – have been selected for the month of June and readers are encouraged to take photographs of themselves reading and then post the pictures on social media under the hashtag – “Get Caught Reading” – to create more excitement around the campaign.

According to the organizers of the campaign, the personal library initiative would be executed through a special purpose vehicle called the ‘Library2020 Project’, under which young people who cannot afford to buy books or whose parents cannot get books for them, will be given access to` books to inculcate in them a healthy practice of reading.

“We want every child in Ghana to build their own personal library of at least 20 books by the end of the year 2020,” she stated.

The Read for Life Campaign and the Library2020 Project will run concurrently in partnership with schools, parents, the government, the media and the private sector

She also noted that reading for pleasure has dwindled considerably among adults and, inevitably, such an interest for children barely exists.

“In many homes, especially in the rural areas, parents may be excused for not reading with their children because of limited access to books.  In other homes, it may be a question of time or in some cases, of inability of the parents to read.  In those circumstances, the onus of promoting the culture of reading among children naturally shifts to schools,” she pointed out.

Selecting Cape Coast as the host city for the launch of the campaign, she said, was by no means an accident because the first cluster of Readwide clubs were established in Cape Coast in the late 1990s at Holy Child School, St. Augustine’s College, Mfantsipim School, and Wesley Girls’ High School.

Mrs Irene Ansa-Asare Horsham expressed how refreshing it is to know that these Readwide clubs are still active, as are about 60 others around the country.  She commended Holy Child School and Wesley Girls’ High School for having the two most active Readwide clubs in the country.