The list of what a child needs in order to flourish is short but non-negotiable – Food, Shelter, Play, Love, Security and Something else too, Reading – Yes, Reading helps to develop self-esteem, intellectual ability and imagination in young children.
We believe that a child needs a forest of words to wander through, a sea of vocabulary to splash in and a vivid imagination to explore. They also need the knowledge meet their true potential and many more. A child needs to be read to and a child needs to read so that the child can grow up to an enlightened and confident individual. Evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only that they perform better in reading tests than those who don’t, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures & society etc. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background. Being inspired by this strong philosophy ‘Uttoradhikar’ program started on the 20th December 2015 in East London by BSK London.
The idea of reading club for younger readers came about following successful ‘Moulik’ – A Reading Program for all by BSK. Children are encouraged to read books of their own choice but generally classics and to review the books. The review task itself is open ended. For example-illustrating a cover page, writing reviews or blurbs, analysing characters, telling the moral of the story, summarising the book in cartoon strips or with any other method that the child can express opinions. We encourage children to talk their minds and also to hear other opinions.
The readers meet once a month for two hours where they share their views and discuss their understanding of the book they have read with the group, age ranging from 5 to 60+. Each group is facilitated by experienced members from ‘Moulik’. Each session starts with an interactive workshop either by an internal or an external agency. Workshops are customised to cover various aspect of the children’s personal development e.g. learning to learn, criticising constructively, writing effective reviews, building confidence, public speaking, storytelling, promoting independence, leadership skills, event/team management etc. Our first workshop was on ‘Reading Challenge’ where the children had an opportunity to meet an amazing author, an interesting storyteller and a famous poet- Shamim Azad. The workshop ended with an interactive question-answer session with Ms. Azad