A Report on the Activities of the Reading Association of Nigeria from July 2019 to May 2020

The Ogun State Branch was inaugurated on 24 July 2019 at the Federal College of Education, Abeokuta. In attendance was the deputy Provost administrators, representatives of sister associations and students of the college. The Branch Executive was presented with articles of association and materials for literacy promotion; patrons were received, decorated and celebrated, and goodwill messages received.

With regular meetings and collaborations, membership has grown up to 55.
From 20 to 22 August 2019, members of RAN attended  the 11th Pan-African Literacy for All Conference, Kampala, Uganda on Literacy: A bridge  to equity. The National Secretary represented the RAN President at this conference.
On invitation by the Director of the Centre and conference Convener, RAN was represented by the President at the maiden conference of the Nigeria Centre for Reading Research and Development (NCRRD) in Bayero University, Kano from 18 to 23 August 2019.

The well attended conference featured presentations by the Vice Chancellor, international partners and other stakeholders, with lively discussions by participants.

A WhatsApp group was started for prospective members of the Kano State Branch, including Katsina State residents to facilitate useful interaction among members on 26 August. The group’s coordinator was selected by them.

Branches like Cross River, Ekiti, Abuja and Anambra organised reading activities, training of trainer workshops and book and cash donation, in collaboration with orphanages, schools, school libraries, public libraries and correctional institutions to mark the International Literacy Day on 08 September.

In addition to distributing to Branches a special sticker designed to mark the day.
The national body, in collaboration with RAN, Imo State Branch organised a Midterm Conference on Literacy across borders from 10 to 13 September in the Main Auditorium of Imo State University.

The keynote address, presented by Professor Damian U Opata on  Reading – Language – Ideology, conceptualized reading as “a strategy of survival”. Thirty-five abstracts were received from participants from all four tertiary institutions in Imo, as well as from Calabar, Ilorin, Awka  and South Africa, and papers presented.

The Midterm conference was preceded by a one-day, fully participatory, capacity building workshop for RAN Imo members on teaching children to read. It was anchored by the Board of Trustees Chairman and the President of RAN.

The workshop and conference served to strengthen the once vibrant Imo Branch, and was well received by members, conferees and the hosting institution, Alvan Ikoku College of Education.
The third meeting of NEC, held in Paris Heritage Hotel, Owerri, had the Local Organising Committee for the Midterm Conference in attendance. It was, among other things, to see to the smooth running of the conference

Enugu postponed its capacity building workshop to a more suitable date; RAN NEC members continued to strengthen the local community reading centres established by them, and an Akwa Ibom school, with the encouragement of RAN Cross River, strengthened its practice of school wide Drop-Everything-And-Read

RAN Activities slowed down in December 2019 and January 2020, as the school year ended, and the holidays began.

Twelve prospective members of RAN Akwa Ibom came together in a WhatsApp group under the leadership of a coordinator for the purpose of a relaunch, as membership there had been observed to dwindle in recent years. Interest is building up again.

RAN participated actively in support of the second NCRRD conference in Kano, on Children’s Books and the Teaching of Early Grade Reading from 16 to 19 March, 2020, on invitation.

On-going throughout the period under review has been the RAN-NEIplus project in Sokoto and Bauchi States, using Early Gade Reading to stimulate learning to read among 1.4million Nigerian youths and children, so that they can, now as independent readers, read to learn