A Report from the Secretary General- Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, shows that in 2014 between 40 percent and 90 percent of children failed to achieve even minimum levels of proficiency in reading. This is one of many reasons why promoting and celebrating World Read Aloud Day is important to us.
LitClub Nepal members from all 6 clubs networking with each other as they prepare for #WRAD
This year we expanded the celebration by having it in two places. The first event was held on February 16th where we reached 500 students from the Pharping community as well as other community members like mothers from the Community Learning Center. We held another event on the 18th to celebrate with a community school named Shree Aatma Bikash Primary School in an area called Budhanilkantha. About 70 people including LitClub members, members and teachers gathered in Shree Atma Bikash Primary school for the program, and members from all six LitClubs (Sikharapur, Setidevi, Bhaktapur, Durghabhawani, Greenland and Niharika) collected donated books to share with the kids from Shree Atma Bikash.
LitClub Nepal leader and Head Mentor of Rukmini Foundation, Prakriti Didi explains what World Read Aloud Day is all about
On the day of the event, most of us had to travel for about 2 hours from the center of Kathmandu to the hillside of Budhanilkantha where Shree Aatma Bikash Primary School is located. Reaching the school, we were warmly welcomed by the teachers and school children. The school was a one story building with only 4-5 classrooms, staff room and a meeting hall. The teachers welcomed all of the LitClub members to a hall where we gathered together to celebrate WRAD.
Silly games are the best way to meet new people :-).
As with all of our LitClub programs, we started by singing the “Hello” song. We then helped to make the children feel comfortable with all of the new faces by playing a game to help the children of Aatma Bikash connect with our LitClub Members. After those activities, LitClub Setidevi mentor, Devaki, read aloud a story to the children and a discussion about the story followed. LitClub Niharika followed by reading a poem that was created by them. The poem was about friendship, courage and happiness.
Simran from LitClub Niharika reading Aloud a poem on Friendship
Shristi, from LitClub Sikharapur also shared a poem about education where the message was the importance of education, and how difficult it was for many to achieve it. This is sadly very true for many in Nepal and girls in many parts of the world. The creativity of the LitClub members and the confidence of them to be able to share their poems and stories was very inspiring to see.
Children of Shree Atma Bikash School enjoy the books collected and donated by members of LitClub Nepal
This event was even more special because not only did we have a chance to read aloud, but we were also able to give the students of this school a gift of books that had been collected by all Lit Club Nepal members. Close to 300 books were collected and were given to school library. During the event some books were chosen by the school children and they read book together with LitClub members. Getting books that the children of Shree Aatma Bikash enjoyed reading was very moving for us. The children of the school read books in Nepali and LitClub members helped them to read books in English as well. It was an inspiring scene for me. This is the real objective of WRAD to motivate children to celebrate the power of words no matter the language.
This event showed that all of us have to work to help increase access to literacy. LitClub Nepal also showed that young people can also help their communities to be motivated to read through peer to peer learning. In this program, the young girls from LitClub Nepal and the young students of Shree Atma Bikash connected through stories and were able to share together the power of reading. Thank you to our friends LitWorld and Global GLOW who always support our programs and make this important day possible. I was so happy to be able to bring this program to a new location and hopefully inspire another group of young people to continue to read aloud.