As the world marks International Literacy Day, Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Limited has today launched a virtual reading project under its Employee Volunteering programme that engages their staff to read to underprivileged children remotely.
As COVID-19 continues to disrupt learning in unprecedented ways, and with schools currently closed, the move to utilize technology in reading to the children will play a key role in improving their basic literacy skills.
Partnering with United Way Ghana, the Standard Chartered Virtual Reading Project will bring together employee volunteers to read books approved by the Ghana Library Board, and in line with the school curriculum, to children who have been impacted by the closure of schools due to COVID-19, so they do not lag behind in their academics.
Employee volunteering is a core component of the Bank’s community engagement strategy utilising staff volunteers to share their knowledge, skills and talent with their communities. In commemoration of International Literacy Day, staff volunteers will be volunteering their reading skills to children in lower and upper primary, between the ages of 8 and 14.
This initiative is also part of a bigger Virtual Reading Project which will run through the entire month of September targeting 300 children, to ensure learning continuity, with the aim of educating, informing and inspiring children, as they wait to return to school.
Commenting on the launch of the virtual reading project, Mrs. Mansa Nettey, Chief Executive, Standard Chartered, Ghana Limited said “To minimise the negative impact of COVID-19 on children’s ability to learn, we are rolling out this project to support communities, not least, our young ones who are currently out of school and do not have access to remote learning.”
“The ability to read and write is crucial for an individual to function and navigate all stages of life. As a bank we believe in giving back to society and are therefore leveraging our employee volunteering programme on International Literacy Day, to roll out this virtual reading project as part of our Futuremakers initiative to empower the next generation to learn, earn and grow. I believe that several young lives will be positively impacted today and throughout the month of September, consistent with our commitment to be Here for Good” she added.
8th September was proclaimed International Literacy Day by UNESCO in 1966 to remind the international community of the importance of literacy for individuals, communities and societies, and the need for intensified efforts towards more literate societies. The issue of literacy is a key component of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
This year’s theme for International Literacy Day, “Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond,” highlights the contribution literacy has on lifelong learning and the role of educators, as the modes and methods of education keep changing.