What helps children

Regular reading is crucial for children to learn. It boosts students’ success in most school subjects, as well as in life. Every child can become a good reader if we give them the opportunity and sufficient support. This is why we pay special attention to developing reading skills at all project schools.
 

How do you whet children’s appetite for books?
Try a reading workshop

For some children, a reading workshop means those unique moments when they open a book at school, read quietly for fifteen to twenty minutes, and then share their reading experiences with others. In addition, reading teachers often combine reading with the children writing. At the end of the workshop, students can be asked to write a letter to a book character, come up with a different ending for the book, or add their own hero to the book and describe how the hero’s presence might have affected the story. Or they imagine how the story could be narrated in another genre. Why is this important? Writing in turn influences the quality of reading and the depth of comprehension. Reading workshops even make advanced readers out of children whose families do not read books.

As their literacy develops, the children also regularly improve in other subjects. They know what to do if they do not understand a text. “It is a known fact that the children who read are also better at negotiating and getting along with others,” says Miloš Šlapal, a reading expert. “Once children start to understand that the author wrote the text with a certain intention – simply put, when they are critical readers – they can also use the knowledge outside of reading and watch TV news or movies from this perspective as well.”

In addition, reading can be turned into a social event where we can learn something interesting not only about the book and its author but also about ourselves and others. When children read and when we foster their reading skills, we help to develop their thinking and ability not only to comprehend texts but also to understand other people and the world around us.

Regular reading workshops are held at all project schools. First- to ninth-graders all have them. And what do students say about these reading workshops?

“I can better formulate what I think.”

“My spelling has improved, because what I see is easier for me to remember than grammar rules.”

“I have learned to speak better in front of others.”

“When we discuss various book protagonists and what makes us similar to them, I tend to be much less judgmental of other people.”
 

Readers’ corners, school and class libraries

A short stroll inside a project school during a recess between classes is enough for anyone to understand why teachers do not have turn into ‘watchful guards’. What do we see? Some children are playing tag around a ping-pong table, while others rush to the gym to dance the longer recess away in a Latin American rhythm with a teaching assistant. Some talk to their friends, while others read during recess.

The number of readers in project schools is increasing, and not only thanks to reading workshops. In short, children have daily access to good books at school. They read because they can drop into the school library during the day, and use any of the many of opportunities to hide away with a book. They read because there are readers’ corners in the hallways and in every classroom – quiet spots where kids can relax with books.

 
Ohlas

When we discuss various book protagonists and what makes us similar to them, I tend to be much less judgmental of other people.

 
 
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