The British Council, with supported grants from HSBC, launched ‘Kids Read’ on 31 January 2015 at Naziria Naymia Mamudia Madrasha, BSCIC Industrial Area, P.S.-Chandgaon, Chittagong.
‘Kids Read’ is an award-winning scheme, which was developed as a way to help children enjoy reading as teachers and parents often struggle to find ways to motivate children to read. Bangladesh is one of eight countries in Asia that will be taking part in the programme, and it will support the Ministry of Education’s current work in English language and literacy development. This scheme will bring many different aspects to the children, teachers, school administration staff and parents in Bangladesh through school events, community events and competitions.
‘Kids Read’ will create the opportunity for students to develop their reading skills in six government schools (primary section) as part of the pilot year. The schools, for primary-aged pupils (grades 1 - 6) nominated by the British Council and HSBC and approved by the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, will each receive approximately 80 English language story books.
Mr Md Nazrul Islam Khan, Secretary, Ministry of Education, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh was the Chief Guest. He was accompanied by Francois de Maricourt, CEO of HSBC Bangladesh, Barbara Wickham, Country Director of the British Council, and Andrew Jones, Senior Training Consultant, British Council. Alec Williams, a famous storyteller from the UK, shared a story telling session with the children.
Reading opens up a world of opportunities for children, exposing them to other cultures, attitudes and issues, such as the environment. Research shows that good reading habits, established early, improve later performance in a range of life skills as well as developing language and critical thinking skills. However, teachers and parents often struggle to find ways to motivate children to read and this is especially the case when dealing with reading in a foreign language like English. Through this project:
- Primary schools transform their awareness of the value of children’s reading in English across all age-groups.
- Reading skills and literacy behaviour are developed with the children. In addition the children have increased awareness of world issues, e.g. the environment and the value of money.
- The children have access to the very best UK children’s books in their schools and homes.
- Parents better understand the benefits of reading and are better able to help their children read at home.