Building lifetime Readers, who become intellectually rich, enough to Envision self and societal Development, while holding excellence and integrity as core values to become great Leaders of our society in their chosen fields. "This is what Ignite Africa is all about, and we are about this business with everything we got. From our perspective, there isn’t time for much else."
Back in the days, a lot of us grew up reading to be successful; the bookstores were there, our school libraries were filled with relevant books; the publishing firms existed. The result was a crop of highly cerebral leaders in all fields. Today, these are fast becoming history; the reading culture is dead, and the end result is evident in the failure rate recorded in national examinations at over 80%.
It is time we changed the tide, as the question remains: what does the future hold for a nation with a youthful population that is not interested in studying, and to whom the reading culture is unattractive? When opportunities and understandings are blocked, moral decay and crime is the resultant effect; but with the power to read, any child can change her story.
Hence, Ignite Africa developed the most aggressive and innovative reading intervention program, with our model Book Club and Book-To-Child Connection, which fosters a love of reading in young people, and effectively works to sharpen their comprehension ability, as we understand it is one thing to read, and a whole different ball game to comprehend what you read. We employ a research-based program model that gets results, as the ability to read and comprehend is core to student success beyond the classroom.
The reality is that reading is meaningless to young children whose reading skills are so underdeveloped that comprehending a substantial text structure is a seemingly insurmountable hurdle. Many educators categorize such struggling readers as ‘dullards’. Young children like these are easily forgotten and left behind by educators; and the reason is simple: fostering a love of reading in young children is not a curricular objective. It is not tested by the State; it is not a component of any Federal Legislation, it is not in the school strategic plan, nor is it likely the focal point of any methodology courses at the university. This is where Ignite Africa Reading Project comes in.
Ignite Africa has impacted hundreds of school children across the Nation. We have established over 50 book clubs and Book-To-Child connection groups across 8 schools in Lagos State, and 6 schools located in 4 remote villages in the Onelga region of Rivers State. Our project is uncompromisingly result-oriented.
At Ignite Africa, we have a team of young, intelligent and exemplary graduate reading partners, who are fully intellectually involved with our student members. This is key to on-going growth and assets development. Each Reading Partner spends an average of 6 hours a month working with our student members. For every month with Ignite Reading Partner, our young members on average gain a minimum of 1.5 months of reading skills.
The academic research by Anne E. Cunningham, Professor of Education and board member of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading, California, USA, and Keith E. Stanovich, Professor of Applied Psychology, University of Toronto/Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, demonstrate that:
The researchers were also able to show that:
Ignite Africa has a Book Project Committee that consists of a group of professionals, hand selected to lend their expert recommendations and advice, necessary when tasked with choosing the perfect set of books for hundreds of thousands of young people in Nigeria. We currently have about 3500 books to serve our students. We provide these books free to them for reading, as we encourage them to read at least 20mins a day. Then we create a warm and inviting atmosphere to study the books with them, after a certain time frame.
Ignite Africa state of the art library website makes registering, borrowing books, and monitoring the books for safe keeping more effective. This is all free to our young members.
The Ignite Africa Book Club: Encourage and effectively engage our student members to actually read specific relevant books within a timeframe, and reviewed regularly by well-trained and experienced Reading Partners to measure progress through an exciting, effective and participatory process. The Ignite Book Club is a place to set in motion your reading goals and keep it flying. With reading friends, like us, and a spread of books across all levels, dreams really can come true. We are “hands-on”, and fully intellectually involved with our book club members. The book clubs are mainly focused on Secondary Schools and higher Institutions. These relevant books are provided free to our members, in order to sustain and make reading possible.
Ignite Book-To-Child Connection: It is one thing to read, and a whole different ball game to comprehend what you read. The scheme, ‘Ignite Book-to-Child Connection’ fosters a love of reading in young children. It is an integrated reading intervention program designed for children ages 5 to 11 (Primary school level), which develops their reading skills and works to sharpen their comprehension ability, as we believe that if a child can ‘read’ and ‘comprehend’ what they have read, or what has been read to them, it becomes much easier to excel in school with other subjects, including math, which most view as too difficult. The reality is that reading is meaningless to young children whose reading skills are so underdeveloped that comprehending a substantial text structure is a seemingly insurmountable hurdle.
The Book-to-Child Connection has benefits such as, increased reading comprehension, improved listening skills, and a broadening vocabulary; but it has even more to offer in terms of its contribution to building lifetime readers. In terms of disengaged readers (those who can read, but just don’t), being read to is one of the most attractive methods of bringing them to books. To reach these children, we impact the way they think about books and the way they feel about books. Think for a moment, about children who don’t ‘do’ reading; for such children, and even young adults, very little about school is smooth for them, because how much of school is really not about books?
Author Visits: We host local and international authors, where these authors have an interactive session with the members of the book clubs. Introducing young ones to an author can be a wonderful experience. Students should hear from and speak to an author throughout their schooling. A visit from an author can expose students to the wonders of reading in a unique way; the engaging presence of an author can be very inspirational. Children love to meet the person behind their favorite books and find out how they come up with their stories.
Summarily, Ignite Africa Book Project is a highly effective program, as books do provide people with a platform to fly, and opens up the magical world of self-development. The seeds of our dreams are often found in books; you will be amazed at the impact a simple book can have on the lives of young people and the society. By experience we have found that there is no such thing as a child who hates to read, there are only children who have not found or been given the right book
Ignite Africa is a nongovernmental organization founded in 2010 by Kolawole Oyeyemi. A huge passion for youths due to their vulnerability and their tendency to channel their boundless energies into vices that have the potentials to destroy their future, the future of our nation and the future of Africa is the motivation behind its foundation.
Ignite Africa focuses on teenagers and young adults but pays special attention to teenagers in their peculiar age of sudden discoveries. This formative age is critical to molding great leaders who will take Africa into the next millennium as an informed and prosperous continent.
A chat with this generation of young folks raises fundamental concerns about our future as a nation and a Continent. Many have no sense of purpose or a clear reason for being. Many have very warped understanding of life and have chosen the path of destruction with the attendant consequences on the society. These young minds need to be harvested and preserved from destruction!
Ignite Africa hopes to catch them young and teach and inspire them to catch a vision for their lives, nation and continent, develop strategies to fulfill them, follow through on action plans for achievement with a clear focus on God as the power that enables the manifestation and fulfillment of vision.
Raise a vanguard for the new Nigeria and the new Africa; a new Can Do generation committed to a greater nation and continent via self discovery, vision of a greater self and a greater purpose for living; deep hunger and thirst for knowledge; a love for self, the continent and her people and the fear of God.
Impact a new generation of Nigerians with the noble ideals of integrity, hard work, genuine care and concern for others, love for the Nation and the Continent, respect for self and others and the fear of God.
Ignite Africa pursues this vision via a three pronged strategy viz:
This brings together thousands of young people in a central location for a one-day impartation of ideas, exhortation and motivations to fire them up to be who God has created them to be. They are inspired to catch a vision, develop the strategies to fulfill them and focus on the God of the vision as the power that enables manifestation and fulfillment of vision. The young folks are also inspired to catch a vision for the Nigerian nation as a country and Africa as a continent worth living and dying for. Past speakers at this event include Dr Myles Munroe from the Bahamas, Ghandi Olaoye of Peculiar People Management and Jesus House Washington DC, Fela Durotoye of Nigeria and the visioner; Kolawole Oyeyemi; a leading management professional, author and the Senior Pastor of the Chapel of Uncommon Grace in Lagos, Nigeria. The Ideas Exhibition also happens during this event.
This is a focused road show into schools to recruit a vanguard of inspired leaders who would take our nation and continent to the next level. At the young impressionable school ages, young folks are encouraged to develop a thirst for knowledge and embrace learning early in life and to catch a vision for their lives. Ignite Readers Are Leaders Book Project has over 50 Book Clubs across schools in Lagos and Rivers states of Nigeria.
This is designed to help to give life to the dreams and aspirations of a lot young creative minds. Young people are encouraged to send in ideas in a one-page write-up to a dedicated email address. A short listing is done based on set criteria and lucky persons are invited to present their ideas before a panel. Two winners emerged at the last exhibition and shared half a million naira in prizes to move their ideas to the next level.
This is a one-day festival that brings together exhibitors of various Innovations and creative ideas that have been given life to. Exhibitors must be strictly under 40. This forum is intended to link the exhibitors with investors, banks, government and non-governmental agencies that can help them in moving their ideas forward through funding, professional and business advice and valuable networks. High-level relevant government and nongovernmental representations will be ensured at the event.
This is a leadership school focused on developing responsible leadership in tender impressionable ages and young adulthood. The intention is to ensure that as these young people grow up, they develop into responsible adults who with a clear vision and a God fearing attitude can deliver the Nigeria and Africa of the future, impact their generations positively and make a difference in the world at large. The school will open formally in August 2015 as a Summer School.