Sunday, November 20, 2005

Money Where the Mouth Is

In the Star today, news that the government is to launch a huge campaign to encourage reading among the young. Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim announced that RM25mil has been allocated to start a campaign. Details will be announced next month, and all state and local governments, universities and schools will be involved. This is very good news, but let's just see how the money is to be spent before we applaud too loudly.

The article also outlines efforts being made by bookstores and the PJ Community library, and there's a very nice picture of my friend Renee Koh, marketing manager of MPH.

On the same page there's an article on the art of storytelling, featuring tale spinners Judy Shaik and Keats Markandu.

In the Starmag section, Daphne Lee has some excellent ideas for ways that parents can organise a reading week for their kids. Not only will parents be turning their kids into happy little book addicts, but it's all relationship enhancing stuff too, isn't it? The idea I like best, a reading-week party with costumes and suitable food.

11 comments:

Chet said...

Campaign to encourage what?

The Visitor said...

i think a more far-reaching and effective way of getting the young to read is to include book essays as part of the school curriculum. just getting the young to read but not fully appreciate a book is just half the journey. to make it complete, i think kids should be encouraged to also think about what they have read and form their own opinions about it.

bibliobibuli said...

chet - reading lah! but exactly what kinds of activities is yet to be specified. let's hope ...

visitor - for sure. reading has to be promoted on many different levels and it's necessary for teachers to develop a critical ability in students. but it also has to be made fun and purposeful because otherwise kids will just switch off. much teaching sadly destroys enthusiasm. (and I say this as someone who has sat at the back of the classroom more times than i care to remember). there's actually a whole combination of factors involved when you begin to think about it ...

Lydia Teh said...

The surest way to get kids to read is to read to them when they're tiny tots. Starting the reading habit from the home is easier than "corporatised" efforts. I read to my kids when they were little : now all of them like to read. Though they aren't exactly voracious readers, at least they could list reading as a hobby and not be red-faced about it.

bibliobibuli said...

agree lydia - and if you're the kind of parent who reads to kids you'll give them the habit of lifelong reading

but in so many homes there is no tradition of reading to kids ... no real tradition of reading full stop ...

one of the thrusts should surely be parental education ... why to read with your kids, how to read with your kids and what books to choose

and then it's necessary to keep kids reading and provide them with the right books to keep them enthused

The Visitor said...

good points, Lydia and Ms Biblio.

i got hooked on reading cos my parents bought me storybooks even before i started school. then i had my first library card in my first year at school.

but i have been reading less and less as the years passed.

bibliobibuli said...

hmmm ... visitor - sidetracked by films. i clearly have to work on you ...

The Visitor said...

well, i'm reading more books on film now. :)

Anonymous said...

I was sidetracked for a long while because books are written to sell now, and I couldn't find all the books I used to read as a child. But now there's the Internet and all the old books are online and bereft of copyright, so I'm gonna start reading again.

bibliobibuli said...

anaon - good for you! i've thought of tracking down some of my favourites on abebooks ...

Anonymous said...

All mine are free but for the printing. I've just finished Animal Farm.. if anyone wants it.. :)