West Hills Mall, Accra’s biggest family shopping centre, has opened a library to boost the habit of reading among young children in schools in Accra West area.
Known as the West Hills Mall Pom-pom Library, the 150 square metre modern reading facility has been set up in partnership with first-cycle schools within the mall’s catchment zone and will culminate in the formation of reading clubs for children in the entire Accra West community.
Mall management announced when the library became functional on Monday that it intends to arrest the dwindling proficiency and interest in reading among children in the area by rolling out regular programmes and activities designed to make reading attractive to school pupils and inculcate in them the habit of reading.
“Being a family shopping centre, children are as valuable to us as their parents; they (children) constitute an important segment of our clientele and we deem it part of our corporate social responsibility to invest in their intellectual development,” said Michael Oduro-Konadu, Marketing Manager at West Hills Mall.
“We will excite and sustain their interest with a variety of appealing reading programmes, including a special Celebrity Reading Session on weekends. On every Saturday for instance, the Mall will invite a celebrity to read a ‘Book of the Week’ and spend some time discussing books with kids who visit the library,” Oduro-Konadu disclosed.
With a capacity for at least 50 children at a time, the library has two sections. There is a Kiddie Section where little children can paint, draw and solve puzzles and are exposed to special picture books which make reading easy and fun for little children; then there is the main library with books for children aged from five (5) to 15 years.
Open every day of the week from 10:00am till 7:00pm, the 150 square metre space of the Pom-Pom Library has been fitted and set up to give young readers optimum comfort to augment the thrill of reading.
“Over the past one week, we have had fruitful engagements with school authorities and school children in Accra West and we are highly encouraged by the response and level of enthusiasm we. It is obvious that in no time, the number of school children patronizing the library will escalate so we are considering initiating a book donation campaign aimed at expanding the stock of books in the library,” Mr. Konadu hinted.
Accra West boasts of more than 300 public and private first cycle schools but majority of the thousands of pupils in these schools have no access to modern library facilities.
“What West Hills Mall has done for these children is most ingenious and honourable,” said the Head teacher of one of the schools whose pupils have already began using the Pom-pom Library. He added, “for you (Management of West Hills Mall) to have thought beyond business, to devote such a huge chunk of your space to the development of children is a very commendable initiative indeed.”