This Children’s Day weekend, the children at the Ang Mo Kio Public Library had a special person reading to them – Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
PM Lee was there to celebrate the 10thanniversary of the National Library Board’s kidsREAD programme which he inaugurated back in 2004.
kidsREAD is a nationwide reading programme that aids children between four to eight years old from less-privileged families inculcate good reading habits. Over the past ten years, more than 27,000 children have participated in kidsREAD. The benefits of the kidsREAD programme extend beyond literacy alone with teachers reporting an increase participant’s confidence and ability to articulate their thoughts.
Recognising kidsREAD’s Volunteers
There are currently 184 kidsREAD clubs run by more than 1,300 volunteers that include seniors, young professionals, youth and students from secondary schools and junior colleges who read aloud to the children and fan the children’s interest in books.
During today’s celebrations, ten of longest-serving volunteers and representatives of the ten longest-running kidsREAD clubs were recognised for their dedication to helping kids discover the joy of books and reading.
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Mrs Elaine Ng, Chief Executive Officer, National Library Board said, “Our wonderful volunteers show children that reading is fun, and books are companions in learning. Over the last ten years, the stories they read at the kidsREAD clubs have lit up the lives of many children. In our next ten years, we look forward to having more volunteers, more kidsREAD clubs, and more children discovering the love of reading.”
Expanding the Programme to Benefit More Children
Starting from January 2015, the kidsREAD programme will be opened up to children from families with a gross monthly household income of up to $6,000 a month, an increase from the present gross household income limit of $3,500 a month. This aligns the programme’s eligibility criteria with that of the Ministry of Social and Family Development’s criteria for the enhanced Kindergarten Financial Assistance Scheme.
More information on kidsREAD, including how to volunteer, sponsor or start a kidsREAD club, can be found at www.kidsread.sg
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong reading to pre-schoolers at the 10th anniversary celebration of kidsREAD.