Wednesday 02 December 2015

‘Kids Read’ reading for pleasure primary school project has its 2015/16 launch

Award-winning reading programme developed by the British Council with the support from HSBC

2 December 2015 (HONG KONG) – The ‘Kids Read’ Launch Ceremony was held on Saturday 7 November 2015 at British Council Hong Kong to celebrate the launch of the award-winning reading programme, ‘Kids Read’, in Hong Kong, with the support from the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) for the academic year 2015/16. ‘Kids Read’ aims to highlight the importance of reading for pleasure and engage students through interactive reading and activities. The launch ceremony provided a valuable opportunity for our guests to promote the vision of this meaningful programme.

At the ceremony, distinguished guests Ms. Malini Thadani, Head of Corporate Sustainability, Asia Pacific, HSBC; Mrs. Chong Cheung Wai-mun, Rosana, Chief Curriculum Development Officer (English), Curriculum Development Institute, Education Bureau; and Ms. Mhairi-Anne González, Director English Language Services, British Council Hong Kong delivered speeches and presided over the kick-start ceremony together. This was followed by a presentation by Fanling Public School, the first ‘Kids Read’ school in Hong Kong, in which their English Panel Head, Ms. Eva Yau, shared the school’s experience of running the programme. Their teachers and students also put on a fun storytelling and puppet show, which gained rounds of applause.

Other guests including Mr. Christopher Ng, Head, English for Education Systems, British Council Hong Kong; representatives from ‘Kids Read’ schools in the academic year 2015/16 – C.C.C. Kei Chun Primary School, Lei Muk Shue Catholic Primary School, Shau Kei Wan Government Primary School, S.K.H. Chi Fu Chi Nam Primary School and Tung Koon School (Sheung Shui); and HSBC volunteers who will support the project by storytelling and leading fun activities at community events.

‘The British Council connects people with learning opportunities from the UK and we are honoured to introduce the renowned ‘Kids Read’ programme to Hong Kong with its UK-authored children’s fiction collection,’ said Ms. Mhairi-Anne González, Director English Language Services, British Council Hong Kong. ‘This reading for pleasure project is designed to complement and enrich the excellent reading programmes already run by Hong Kong schools. We are delighted to be able to bring together teachers, parents and children to support the development of reading for pleasure at this time.’ 

‘HSBC is delighted to work with British Council again on such a meaningful programme. English language and reading are important tools for children in Asia Pacific to connect with the world, and HSBC is dedicated to improving children’s education in our communities. We look forward to supporting children with the tools to realise their ambition later in life.’ Ms. Malini Thadani, Head of Corporate Sustainability, Asia Pacific, HSBC, added.

Mr. Chow Wai Keung, Principal of Lei Muk Shue Catholic Primary School, commented, ‘Our school is excited to be part of the Kids Read programme! We thank British Council for reviving reading for pleasure, which has become an endangered pastime in Hong Kong today. The project reminds us that nothing beats a good book in feeding the mind, imagining the pages and filling in the soul. The project has provided us with interesting, beautifully crafted books and ongoing support to make our reading initiative a success this year.’

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 is 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 consultancy to meet the professional development needs of Hong Kong teachers and students for over 25 years.  

Notes to Editor

About ‘Kids Read’ in the 2015/16 academic year

Following a successful project and community event with Fanling Public School in spring 2015, the programme is being offered to 5 more schools this academic year, which are C.C.C. Kei Chun Primary School, Lei Muk Shue Catholic Primary School, Shau Kei Wan Government Primary School, S.K.H. Chi Fu Chi Nam Primary School and Tung Koon School (Sheung Shui), and kicking off with a launch event.  Hong Kong is one of seven countries or territories where British Council, supported by HSBC, has run the project since 2014/15. They include Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, and the projects have reached approximately 11,000 children and approximately 230 teachers and teacher trainers, involving the support and enthusiasm of almost 250 HSBC volunteers.

The five schools taking part in the 2015/16 reading for pleasure project will receive 80 children’s fiction titles written by UK authors to extend their classroom book collection and teaching and learning materials. Teachers running the project in schools receive professional development workshops run by British Council teacher trainers on how to make primary storytelling engaging by involving the students and organising follow-on activities in which students personalise the experience and have opportunities to express their ideas and feelings. Upcoming community events will be run to involve children, parents, their teachers and volunteering HSBC storytellers in exploring and celebrating reading for pleasure and supporting the children in the project. These events include storytelling and craft activities, competitions and parent training to support developing reading habits at home.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide. 

We work in more than 100 countries and our 8,000 staff – including 2,000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programmes. In Hong Kong, we have been doing this since 1948, giving people opportunities to learn, share and connect worldwide. 

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publicly-funded grant provides 20 per cent of our turnover which last year was £864 million. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, such as English classes and taking UK examinations, and also through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally.  

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