Looking for a worthy cause to donate your time to, mama? Let’s Read Together brings reading and books to children across Singapore!
It’s a well-known fact that reading from birth benefits babies and children, but not all parents have the luxury of time to read to their children, and books themselves can be a luxury as well. Let’s Read Together is an initiative by The National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) that aims to bring exciting reading, storytelling and literacy activities to children from low-income families. A few weeks ago, Sassy Mama was delighted to play a small part in the third event of the year!
Frequent Sassy Mama contributor, crafty bookmaker, and children’s author Pooja Makhijani led a group of 7-9-year-olds through a bookmaking exercise (similar to this paper bag journal activity) at Geylang East Public Library.
“With kids, but especially for these kids who don’t always have access to books, and don’t own their own books necessarily, making their own books and using these books to tell their own stories can be really empowering”, says Pooja. “It’s like, ‘I can make my own library!’”.
The students also listened to a poetry reading from Dr Myra Garces-Bacsal of the National Institute of Education, who then paired them up to read Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices to each other in as expressive a manner as possible. Writer, researcher and translator Dr Yeo Wei led the kids through a craft activity in which they created self-portraits inspired by the children’s classic The Little Prince.
Past events have included library tours, interactive storytelling sessions, and expert guidance from professional illustrators on how to draw characters from imagination. It’s all done to foster a love for reading and books, and we couldn’t be happier to support such a worthwhile initiative!
Materials, fees and transportation have all been donated by the programme’s main sponsor, Premier Corporation, while both the National Library Board and bookstore Popular have donated books, notebooks, pens and document casings to the children.
After the children had made their own books, says Pooja, “They started writing and drawing, expressing themselves right away. They were all so proud to put their names on the cover. Whether writing about their families, their homes, or superhero stories, they were amazed at how fun and easy it was!”
If you’d like to volunteer with Let’s Read Together, mama, or make an in-kind donation, please contact Alycia at [email protected]. We applaud this initiative for making reading a priority for every child in Singapore!