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‘Kids Do Spell’ 2021: Sanwo-Olu promotes Spelling Bee competition, commends organisers

Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, the first lady of Lagos State, has expressed delight to be part of the commendable initiative of the Street Child Care and Welfare Initiative (SCCWI), organisers of the International Literacy Day Celebration held recently in Lagos.

The First Lady noted that the initiative was geared towards improving the educational lives of the under-privileged kids in society, focusing on public schools through the literacy learning opportunity and spelling competition tagged ‘Kids Do Spell’ 2021.

Street Child Care and Welfare Initiative, a non-profit organisation, was established in 2008 to provide a socio-economic advantage to vulnerable children who are abandoned, neglected or impoverished by poverty and social inequalities.

The governor’s wife in an address delivered by her representative, Oluwakemi Omiyale, wife of the executive chairman, Yaba LCDA at the event, recalled several initiatives put together by SCCWI to continuously pursue a worthy cause of helping as many children as possible to live better lives and grow to become not only responsible adults but most importantly, fulfil their dreams and aspirations in life.

Comfort Alli, president and the project manager, Kids Do Spell, while speaking, mentioned the need for individuals and stakeholders to support such causes as they encourage children to focus on learning, improve them mentally and prepare them for great things ahead.

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Alli said there were lots of gaps in literacy in Nigeria and SCCWI was committed to filling them, especially at the primary education level.

While explaining the reason for celebrating the ILD with a spelling competition, she said they found that many children either do not know how to read or have a poor reading culture.

“So, we want to improve on that, which is why we’re getting into schools and it’s better to start early,” she said.

Prior to now, the Street Child Care and Welfare Initiative started a book club in all schools it works with, but ILD provided an opportunity for “something different,” hence, the idea of the spelling competition which targeted public schools and underserved communities.

While about eight different primary schools in Yaba community attended the event, six took part in the competition following approval from the state’s Ministry of Education. Alli said a pre-qualification was done at various schools to select the best three spellers from each school to participate.

Three schools: Ladilak Institute Primary School, Akinwunmi Street, Alagomeji, Yaba, Lagos; St. Dominic Primary School, Birel Avenue, Sabo Yaba, Lagos; and Oko-Agbon Community, Yaba LCDA, Lagos, made it to the final spelling round.

Emmanuel Sylvia, a student of Ladilak Institute, emerged as the winner. While Gideon Orunna (St. Dominic Primary School) was the first runner up, Whesu Olamide (Oko-Agbon) was the second runner up.

The winner of the competition went home with a N100, 000 grand prize, while the first and second runner-ups went with N50,000 and N30, 000 respectively.

“The grand prize is more like educational support for the student,” Alli said.

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