- Kids Read is a global program developed by British Council and sponsored by HSBC which started in 2011 in 10 Middle Eastern and North African countries and 7 countries in Asia.
- Kids Read was launched in Vietnam in 2015 in Binh Duong Province. In 2016, Kids Read is happening in Hanoi.
- Around 21 teachers and nearly 4000 pupils in 6 primary schools in Hanoi will participate in the project with activities including teacher training; reading sessions, competitions and community events and the 6 schools will be equipped with over 1,200 books.
(Hanoi) On its second year in Vietnam, ‘Kids Read’, the award-winning reading programme aimed at school children developed by the British Council and funded by HSBC, has come to Hanoi. The launch ceremony is held on 25 March 2016 at Tay Son primary school including a story-telling demonstration by British Council teachers and 25 primary children.
Last year, Kids Read in Binh Duong was a huge success, reaching 3,985 primary children. Within one year, besides book delivery to schools, teacher trainings and competitions for both children and teachers, four community events were organised, involving with 240 parents and 483 students. 84% of attending children found that “reading English story books is good” and “listening to English stories is fun”.
In the very first year, Vietnam ranked number one among seven countries in the East Asia region (including Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam) in the number of children participating in the Kids Read project. Apart from encouraging them to read and enjoy reading in English, the programme also focused on teacher training to help teachers to increase their storytelling skills and integrate Kids Read activities into their current curriculum.
Luong Thi Thanh Thao, teacher at Dinh Hoa Primary School (Binh Duong), said: ‘Before attending this project, I rarely used stories in classrooms. The teaching and learning atmosphere was not very exciting and my students were not active. Their pronunciation was also not good. Thanks to Kids Read, I have learnt to become more active, enthusiastic and confident. The project helped me to create more meaningful activities and a friendly learning atmosphere. My teaching became more effective; and I can now approach more students and help them more with their weaknesses.’
In 2016, Kids Read will set up libraries in six primary schools and provide 216 story books to each school. The library is a resource for schools to proactively organise reading sessions for children and for teachers to embed creative reading activities in their regular teaching.
Cherry Gough, Director of the British Council Vietnam said: ‘Kids Read encourages primary students to read for pleasure both in the classroom and at home by giving them access to the very best of UK children’s books.
‘Reading for pleasure both inside and outside the classroom is one of the best ways of developing children’s English language skills, so we’re delighted to collaborate with HSBC to introduce Kids Read to children and teachers in Hanoi, especially after the successful pilot in Binh Duong province last year. In 2016, 4,000 primary students from six participating schools will have the opportunity to read some beautifully illustrated books and join in story-telling competitions. Thousands more will benefit from community activities run by HSBC volunteers such as reading and story-telling sessions and workshops for parents. I’m sure the children and teachers will enjoy Kids Read activities and hope it will encourage a habit of reading for pleasure which will stay with them all their lives.’
What is reading for pleasure? Reading for pleasure refers to reading that we to do of our own free will, anticipating the satisfaction that we will get from the act of reading. It typically involves materials that reflect our own choice, at a time and place that suits us.
All the studies show that reading for pleasure not only impacts on reading achievement but also increases general knowledge (both from fiction and non-fiction), a better understanding of other cultures, community participation and a greater insight into human nature and decision-making as books show you other lives, and ways of behaving.