By NBF News

From schools across the country, they came to hone their communications skills and left with mouthwatering prizes. The grand finale of Triple Fun Club 2011 Literary, Oratory and Leadership Week climaxed recently at the Atlantic Hall, Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. It was a day to remember.

With the theme, Ambassadors for Excellence, the workshop aimed to teach children effective communication (oral and written) and leadership skills in a bid to draw attention to their innate skills and harness them for their total.

Performing in different categories, the children showed class in the areas of presentation and comportment. The weeklong workshop had specific sessions that included Reading Fluency and Comprehension, Speech Writing, Public Speaking, Leadership and Career Development. There were also educational games, role-plays and break out sessions aimed at driving home the point at the workshops. Participants were taught to be focused on important things so as to ward off negative peer pressures.

In her address, guest speaker and Chief Executive Officer, African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, emphasized the need for children and teenagers to enjoy their childhood and never be in a hurry to become adults. Also, she enjoined children and teenagers to spend more time developing values that would work for them, as well as justify their parents' investment in them.

Mr. Analiefo Nzegwu, who chaired the event, spoke on the need for everybody to support the initiative of Mr. Chidi Ononye, founder and CEO, Triple Fun Club, calling on organizations to exercise their corporate social responsibility towards harnessing the opportunities the club provided children and teenagers so they could benefit from the club's literacy, oratory, and leadership programmes.

Similarly, Chief Executive Officer, Optima Healthcare, Lagos, Dr. Femi Olaleye, spoke on the 'Ten Things Teenagers want their Parents to Know', tasking parents to spend quality time to bond with their children in order to provide moral and psychological support for children's growth.

While Dr. Emman Shehu of Abuja Writers Forum, who lectured the secondary school category on speech writing, said the aim was to show the children how to choose a topic, develop it, build their presentations around it and effectively communicate it to others, the Chief Host, Chief (Mrs.) Victoria Diete-Spiff, who was represented by the headteacher, Bereton Montessori Primary School, Mrs. Esther Oguamanam, commended the club and the values it represented, stressing the need for literacy development and advising that it should be made an integral part of children's development.

Ononye, in his comments, thanked all who made the year's event a success. He cautioned fathers that children's upbringing should not be left to mothers alone, which might result in delinquency among children in society. Ononye tasked society to stop celebrating values that are not morally uplifting. He equally canvassed for more family-friendly children and teenager programmes on TV to aid them.

Many prizes were awarded. For Public Speaking Senior Secondary Category, Chiamaka Nwachukwu came first, while the Spelling Bee Senior Secondary Category prize went to Chiamaka Nwachukwu. For Speech Writing Senior Secondary Category, Chinelo Meniru won, and the Public Speaking Junior Secondary Category prize went to Ejiro Emuobo-Eje won. Similarly, the Spelling Bee Junior Secondary Category prize went to Onyekachi Meniru.

Other winners include Speech Writing Junior Secondary Category: Iniobong Ekong won; Public Speaking Upper Primary Category: Daniella Megbele; Reading Fluency Lower Primary Category: Elona Erivon; and Spelling Bee Lower Primary Category: Roghenema Ofogba.

The winners went home with assorted prizes, including 14 Electronic Yamaha Keyboards, 7 BMX Bicycles, three portable DVDs with screens, 10 Hair Dryers, and 10 Hair Clippers and over 300 story and educational books. All the winners have been designated as 'Ambassadors of the Club' for the year 2011/2012.