Kids Read is an award-winning reading programme for primary school children to encourage reading for pleasure inside and outside the classroom. The project has been developed by the British Council and is supported by grants from HSBC, and to-date has run in 20 countries across the Middle East and Asia. Kids Read has been designed to provide an engaging reading programme which opens up a world of opportunities to children, exposing them to other cultures, attitudes and issues. Read more about Kids Read around East Asia at the bottom of the page.
Caring for the environment with Kids Read
Children are our future and teaching them to respect the environment is essential to their development and the future of our planet. This is particularly important in a country like Vietnam which is undergoing rapid industrialization and growth and is currently the sixth lowest ranking nation on the environmental sustainability index. With this in mind the Kids Read team in Vietnam created an environment themed community event to develop children’s awareness of environmental issues through storytelling, arts and crafts activities, and songs.
Around 500 children and 100 parents and teachers from four primary schools gathered at Can Thanh primary school, in a remote district of Ho Chi Minh City. They were joined by 58 HSBC volunteers who worked tirelessly to keep everyone happy, informed and entertained. Storytellers entertained the children with the Peace Book and the Earth Book by Todd Parr, followed by a wide choice of arts and cultural activities, all designed to raise the children’s environmental awareness. The children had a great time, as Thuy An, a grade 5 student at Can Thanh primary school, told us “I like reading books in English and I really like the activities today."
Their parents were kept busy at a workshop highlighting the importance of reading in developing children’s creativity, critical thinking skills, language skills and emotional intelligence. They looked at how to make reading exciting for children and how to develop positive reading habits by initiating a reading routine. Parents were also provided with practical ways to select suitable books and how to read them with their children at home. The speaker also emphasised how primary children develop their emotional understanding, explore and discover new information, learn to concentrate, and better understand aspects of real life through books and stories.
The event provided a great opportunity for parents and children to learn together. Teachers also found it very interesting and engaging. The Principal of Can Thanh primary school, Mr Nguyen Thanh Hoang, told us that "both teachers and students really appreciate this event and are very excited to join in. This is a very good chance for students in the district to meet, learn and play together."