Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Reflections for 2006

The kidsREAD programme is taking a break until school reopens in 2007. It is timely to reflect on what has transpired and for me to examine how kidsREACH has touched the lives of those in my class.

Our objective has been to inculcate in the children under our care a lifelong love for reading. The non-academic nature of kidsREAD has made it less stressful for the children and so far the general enthusiasm level of the children in my class has been all right. I am fortunate in that my class is populated by well behaved, bright and promising children.

In terms of improvement, we have not measured in a very scientific basis, the incremental levels of interest or reading proficiency. Anecdotally, I have noted in the case of one or two children who were weaker that at least they were more enthusiatic about wanting to read when it came to their turn.

Those children who were already strong in reading impressed me with some of them reading very well for their age. The small class size of 9 children and 2 volunteers meant that my class generally had a ratio of 1:4.5 when both myself and K were around. I aim to increase this ratio to 1:3.5 by trying to invite more potential volunteers to try out kidsREAD in my class. So far, I have some success as a JC student and some of my toastmasters acquaintances have expressed in interest in the program. Of course, I have a vested interest in that each new volunteer to my class also frees me up to look more into volunteer development and skills enhancement as I empower more volunteers to be trained in reading and story-telling skills. The capacity of our kidsREAD classes is largely dependent on the breadth and depth of our volunteer base.

Some ideas that I am mulling over include more regular kidsREAD volunteer sharing and training. A book donation drive is also on the cards as I think it will be something useful to help boost up the book resources for our kidsREAD programme without having to strain CDAC's budget. I for one have many children's books in my cupboard that I have hardly touched since I became an adult. :-) The recent CDAC kidsREAD volunteers training also generated a number of interest ideas for us to take forward in 2007.

kidsREAD has allowed me to pour a bit of myself into our future: the children! I am very grateful to CDAC for this opportunity to practice my toastmasters skills to read and communicate with children. The potential in us to touch lives for the better is tremendous, I am starting to realise the power of giving and it truly is more blessed to give than to receive.

Here is a collage of some of the kidsREAD images that will stay in my memories for eternity.

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