Prize winners of 'Name the Mascot' ©

British Council

Our English for Education System (EES) team working with HSBC Vietnam held the first community event for the Kids Read Project year 2 on 28 May 2016 at Kim Lien Primary school in Hanoi. Over 140 students and their parents participated in the event. The students took part in listening to stories and doing activities around the theme of ‘Art and Culture’ run by HSBC volunteers, while their parents participated in a workshop to support them with skills to help their children enjoy reading for pleasure at home. In addition, prizes were presented to the top three winners of the first Kids Read competition ‘Name the Mascot’. 

All the children participated enthusiastically in listening to the stories which were ‘Monkey Puzzle’ and ‘Elmer the Elephant’ and doing the activities around them. Most of the children thought that the event was interesting with fun activities and wanted to have more similar events in the coming time.

Since its debut in 2011, Kids Read has reached over 50,000 children in government primary schools in more than 10 Middle Eastern and North African countries with an additional 15,000 children participating in community events with their parents. It moved to the Asia Pacific region in 2015 with Vietnam being selected as one of the participating countries.  

In Vietnam, the scheme was first run in Binh Duong province. In 2016 six primary schools in Hanoi are being given1000 of the UK’s best children books. 21 English language primary school teachers are being trained in how to integrate Kids Read activities into their current curriculum. It is hoped that more than four thousand primary students from the six participating schools will have the opportunity to read books, to join in story-telling competitions and hundreds more will benefit from community activities run by HSBC volunteers. 

The project has been welcomed by the Ministry of Education and Hanoi Department of Education who believe school teachers can improve the quality in their English language classrooms by developing their reading-related teaching methodologies and making reading activities more fun and motivating. This is in line with MOET’s National Foreign Language project 2020 initiatives to enhance English teaching and learning and develop foreign language learning communities through innovative activities.  

32 HSBC staff volunteers supported the event. They have completed story-telling training on effective storytelling techniques using the Kids Read books. They found the training very helpful and were enthusiastically reading the stories at the event.

At the event parents showed their interest in encouraging their children in reading to learn English and develop their knowledge. One parent participating in the parents’ workshop delivered by a British Council trainer said the following ‘I learnt a lot of knowledge and skills to help my child choose suitable books for their age and will buy more English books for my daughter and read together with her’.

For more information, please contact Trang Nguyen, Assistant Director, English for Education Systems at

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