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.
Bringing the joy of reading to children in Vietnam for a third year
"Reading is a transferable skill that opens up a world of opportunities for children. The Kids Read project encourages Vietnamese primary children to read for pleasure both in the classroom and at home. It will also help develop the English language skills of the future generation through access to the very best of UK children’s books. This is a very exciting opportunity for both the British Council and HSBC to collaborate with Ho Chi Minh city on such a meaningful project to give young people access to English as a vital part of a child’s education in a globalised world.” Jon Glendinning, Director of the British Council Vietnam at the launch of Kids Read year three in April 2017.
Kids Read started its third year in Vietnam on a high note with training sessions for the excited English teachers from the six participating schools across Ho Chi Minh city.
The 35 teachers enjoyed a day of intensive training where they learned all about Kids Read and the benefits it will bring to them and their students. This was followed by a storytelling workshop which covered several key areas including:
- appreciating the value of storytelling in class
- using strategies to hold children’s attention and convey meaning
- selecting appropriate activities for a story
- encouraging a love of stories and reading
Now the workshops are complete there will be school visits, conducted by Sadie Maddocks, British Council teacher trainer. During the first visit the teachers watched a demonstration lesson and gave feedback on what they saw. This was also an opportunity for them to discuss any issues they are having with their lessons as well as sharing successes with their colleagues. For the next visit, six of the teachers (one from each school) will be observed giving a storytelling lesson to their class. Individual feedback will be given and used for teacher development, as well as to help develop future Kids Read training sessions and storytelling workshops.
Kids Read was first launched in Vietnam in 2015 in Binh Duong province then moved to Hanoi in 2016. It has been hugely successful with more than 3,500 students in Hanoi and 4,000 students in Binh Duong participating. A further 10,000 primary students have benefitted from the libraries set up by the project and from learning English with the 50 teachers trained by the project so far.
The results of the project have been highly positive with students developing a reading habit; teachers being able to incorporate reading in English in their class; teachers improving their lesson planning skills; and parents having access to book lists and methods to encourage their children to read and to love reading.
As one teacher from Hanoi said; “This project has changed my teaching. It helps my lesson be more interesting and students can easily understand the lesson. When I teach vocabulary and sentences from the text book students feel bored, but when I tell stories with similar content students have a lot of questions and they want to hold the book and read to find out themselves.” (Mrs. Thao, Ngoc Lam Primary school, Hanoi)
Now teachers and students in Vietnam’s largest city will get to enjoy these benefits too. Across Ho Chi Minh city 4,000 pupils will directly participate in the project activities including reading sessions, competitions and community events, as well as enjoying more engaging English lessons thanks to the training their teachers have undertaken. They will also get to enjoy reading the 1,000+ books that are being given to the six schools, and which will be available for students to read for years to come. These books will be used to help establish libraries in the participating schools, which in turn will help the schools achieve the targets of the National Foreign Language Project.
Over the course of the year the students, teachers and parents of Ho Chi Minh can look forward to a range of training sessions, competitions, engaging community events and, of course, lots and lots of storytelling.