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Andika Rwanda 2017 Writing Competition Launched on International Literacy Day

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Kigali: On Friday, September 8th, 2017, public officials and private sector partners joined to celebrate International Literacy Day at the Kigali Convention Center. The event was organized by Rwanda Reads, a network coordinating those invested in strengthening literacy and a culture of reading throughout Rwanda. At the event Erica Barks-Ruggles, the U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda, launched a children’s writing competition, Andika Rwanda 2017.

In attendance were representatives of schools, colleges, civil society organizations, libraries, churches, private sector companies, the book development sector, Government of Rwanda officials, and the U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda.

This year’s literacy theme is the “Power of Reading.” Throughout the event, attendees offered moving testimonies about the power of reading in their lives - detailing how reading gave them the power to develop themselves, their communities, and their countries.

In recognition of the power of reading and writing, Ambassador Erica Barks-Ruggles attended the celebration of International Literacy Day to officially launch Andika Rwanda 2017. Andika Rwanda is a national writing competition for children’s stories written in Kinyarwanda.

The 12 writers who win Andika Rwanda 2017 will have their stories published, and distributed throughout primary schools across the country. The competition is organized by the Rwanda Education Board, with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Competition guidelines will be distributed to all primary schools, secondary schools, and teacher training colleges in Rwanda. All students across the country will be invited to submit stories written in Kinyarwanda for lower primary school students.

Winning stories at the level of each district will be submitted to a national jury, and the 12 best new stories – by Rwandan children, for Rwandan children - will be professionally illustrated and distributed to every primary school during the 2018 school year.

Research shows that children learn to read faster and better in the first language they speak and understand. In Rwanda, students who have strong reading skills in Kinyarwanda are more likely to be strong readers in English in Primary 4 and beyond.

The Andika Rwanda 2017 competition will increase the number of Kinyarwanda storybooks available for children, which will develop children’s reading skills and their love of reading. (End)



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