Event Report by Rukmini Foundation Program Officer – Niroj Shrestha
Event: World Read Aloud Day 2013
Date: 2013 March 6, Wednesday (Actual day of event March 8 – due to nationwide strike in Nepal)
Venue: A School for Communty & Shikharapur Community School
Start Time: 10.30 AM NST
Concept of World Read Aloud Day (WRAD)
World Read Aloud Day is about taking action to show the world that the right to read and write belongs to all people. World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words. It creates a community of readers advocating for every child’s right to a safe education and access to books and technology.
the right to read and write belongs to all people
A School for Community (ASC), Pharping and Rukmini Foundation took part in this first WRAD celebration in Nepal. The event had participation of all students from different campuses at ASC, including Women’s School, Child Care Centre, Open School, and Shikharapur Community School. One of the main objectives of this event is to make people conscious about the power of literacy and how activities like reading aloud can not only improve ability, but build community spirit. This concept is especially important in Nepal, and WRAD will help to encourage students as well as community members nearby about the need to read and study. In Nepali Context, reading aloud has been a practice in our school to promote citation, flow in reading (pronunciation), memorization and so on. Reading aloud is a source of pride for students when we are able to do so in front of our friends or when we are asked by teachers to cite some paragraphs of our course books. We strongly believe that reading aloud promotes education.
Reading Aloud in Group: Poems, Story, Articles by all level of students.
All the students from Nursery school to Grade 6 performed different rhymes namely ‘Hello Son’, ‘Hera Hera Saathi Ho’ and poems ‘Walking on the Moon’, ‘White Fields’ and more. We could all see that the students really enjoyed reading together as a group.
Students of class 8 and 9 performed reading from eBook reader devices, which were given to the school as gifts by Rukmini Foundation during the one year anniversary celebration. The scholars felt proud to be able to read from the Amazon Kindle and B&N Nook devices. This access to technology is one of the reasons the students at Shikharapur are proud to call it their school.
Different groups of students sang song representing World Read Aloud Day. The students find singing as a good way to memorize lessons and it made the event more fun for everybody to see the students singing.
The enthusiasm of the children singing songs inspired everyone involved in World Read Aloud Day.
Drama (International Women’s Day Program)
Students of class 8 and 9 performed a drama on the topic of ‘Importance of Women’s Education’. The drama, speech, and documentary show was done with WRAD and International Women’s Day in mind. This drama was performed in English as part of the Project Based Learning (PBL) initiative supported by Rukmini Foundation. At Shikharapur Community School, students have taken part in extracurricular activities like dramas and other performances in English. This helps improve English skill as well as self-confidence for the students. A documentary titled “Women Empowerment Success Stories” was shown to students of class 7, 8 and 9. Students gathered in the community hall to watch the documentary. The documentary was very important to this age group because they are just beginning to understand the importance of women’s rights. We are proud to be able to teach this from a very young age.
A short speech was delivered about the role of women in the present context of Nepal to demonstrate to the students the strength and power of women, and how women should be given access to employment opportunities like their male counterparts. Social Work trainees of St. Xavier’s College presented some facts and figures to the students to highlight these points.
We gathered to discuss the day’s events and here is what the group felt were important messages from our first WRAD event.
- Reading aloud makes people more aware about literacy issues and encourages people to read.
- Reading aloud helps students to memorize their lessons.
- Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world – Nelson Mandela. This is very true.
- Education is not just about getting good grades. It’s about implementing lessons in our daily life.
- Everyone has capabilities and we just need to discover it.
- Women are equally capable as men, and they deserve a proper environment and guidance to grow.
- Women empowerment requires us to uplift the standard of all women in the society.
Students, volunteers, and community members all showed a very positive response to this day. The students seemed very active and encouraged from the programs. They wished that such programs be continued for years to come. We agreed and believe that this sort of program should be celebrated frequently. Reading aloud is more than just speaking words out loud, it is an expression of the power of literacy and the confidence that only education can build. All of us at ASC and Rukmini Foundation would like to thank LitWorld for letting us be a part of this day. We would also like to thank the ASC staff, Rukmini Foundation staff and volunteers, and Social Work Trainees from St. Xaviers College, Nepal Mega College, Thames International College and Goldengate International College.
Program Officer, Rukmini Foundation