Local students from Fanling Public School explore the fun of reading at ‘Kids Read’ community event
Award-winning reading programme developed by the British Council with support from HSBC
With the aim of encouraging a love of reading inside and outside the classroom for primary school-aged children, the British Council has launched the award-winning reading programme, ‘Kids Read’, in Hong Kong with the support of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC). The first community event of the programme was held on Saturday 23 May 2015 at Fanling Public School with the participation of around 60 children and their parents, and the support from the School’s teachers and 15 volunteers from HSBC.
Prior to the community event, Fanling Public School received 80 children’s fiction titles written by UK authors from the British Council to enrich its classroom book collection. Teachers who run the project in the school also attended professional development sessions to gain support and ideas. At the event, students participated in a series of storytelling activities, craft activities, games and competitions to experience the interesting world of reading. Training sessions were also made available for parents to learn how to assist students in enjoying reading at home. Supported by a group of enthusiastic volunteers from HSBC, the event has successfully built closer connections between the school, local students, and the wider community.
‘The habit of reading opens up a world of opportunities for children, exposing them to other cultures, attitudes and issues. 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,’ said Mhairi-Anne González, Director English Language Services, British Council Hong Kong. ‘The British Council connects people with learning opportunities from the UK. We are honoured to introduce the renowned “Kids Read” programme to Hong Kong, and we are keen to expand the programme to more local schools.’
‘HSBC is delighted to work with British Council to bring “Kids Read” to Hong Kong,’ said Malini Thadani, Head of Corporate Sustainability, Asia Pacific, of HSBC. ‘This programme is a fine example of how HSBC has been providing support to community projects and how HSBC employees get involved by volunteering their time and sharing their skills. The first community event has given this programme an excellent start.’
Joanne Yee, Principal of Fanling Public School, commented, ‘The “Kids Read” programme is a valuable opportunity for our students as the creative activities that the British Council developed help stimulate their language and cognitive skills, at the same time build their motivation, curiosity, and memory. We are grateful to be the first school in Hong Kong to join this meaningful programme and experience such a tremendous success.’
The ‘Kids Read’ programme was launched in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in 2011 with an aim to promote reading to school children from less-advantaged circumstances in the region and to give a helping hand to parents to motivate their children to develop a habit of reading. After three successful years in the MENA region, ‘Kids Read’ is being introduced in Asia in 2015 across seven countries or territories, including Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. To date, the programme has reached over 50,000 children in schools with an additional 15,000 children and parents participating in community events around the world.
Sponsored exclusively by HSBC, ‘Kids Read’ was developed by the British Council to provide an engaging and child-friendly reading programme in primary schools, and delivered by the English for Education Systems team in Hong Kong. The British Council has been working with educational institutions and partners to provide high-quality interactive workshops, creative events and consultancies to meet the professional development needs of Hong Kong teachers and students for over 25 years. The ‘Kids Read’ programme will continue next academic year with a plan to serve more local schools and students. For updates on the programme, please visit http://www.britishcouncil.hk/en/teach/kids-read-programme