I will be taking a longer break in kidsREAD as my wife and I are expecting a little bundle of joy sometime next year. Hence, I will need to prepare for my own little kidsREAD programme for my baby who is on the way. :-)
Looking back at my involvement in kidsREAD, it has been a fulfilling time and allowed me to understand children aged six to eight just that much better in some respects. It is also tough to be a parent in today's society as Singapore is a ruthless laboratory of social darwinism where survival of the fittest rules.
Children have the potential to grow and develop
One of the key life lessons I learnt during kidsREAD is that all children have the potential to grow despite their family backgrounds. The children in kidsREAD tend to be from lower income families and bigger families but I found very little correlation between their intelligence and ability against their social backgrounds. In fact, many of the mothers I met understand the value of education and send their children not only to kidsREAD but also other tuition programs offered by the Chinese Development Assistance Council.
Also, some of my brightest children in the kidsREAD class are from large families with four siblings and they all have the potential to be the next Prime Minister or Chief Executive Officer if we can nuture their talent and allow them to tap on opportunities despite their humble family backgrounds. They are the future of Singapore: each individual child endowed with the potential to be future leaders of this country.
Some of them read well even though at home they speak mostly mandarin as some of the parents do bring them to libraries and expose them to English reading material on top of school work and readings.
One in four adults in the US did not read a book in a year
I read this article which talked about how reading was at risk in the US as almost 25% of adults did not even read a single book in a year. Increasingly, that is the risk that alternative forms of media delivery such as the internet (youtube, dailymotion), television and radio takes us away from reading as a leisure activity, reading for personal growth and development and reading to understand more about the world around us.
Using myself, I too at times get lulled by the relative ease at which I can get content and info-tainment through cable televisions, internet music videos and from surfing the internet. However, my kidsREAD experience shows me that all is not lost. Children will still respond to books and reading if it is made a fun activity with interactivity between them and the books. The human element in communicating the story in the book to the children, bringing their attention to the pictures and illustrations in the book and getting to them read aloud all help to make it more active for them and less passive. That is one of the keys of arousing their interest in reading.
Reading is for you, for me, for all to see!
Reading is a critical lifeskill that you can impart to your child. It is not just about learning something to pass exams and get a paper qualification. It is about empowering them to learn how to learn new knowledge, skills and experiences in the ever-changing world: through reading, reading and more reading.
Empower your child today:
Read to them
Read with them
Read, read and read.
Read well, live well.