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Sowing the seed of reading through story-telling

  • Each of the participants will get a free picture book donated by individuals or organisations. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily
  • Story-telling time with Rainforest Picture Book Society chairman Goh Kok Keong. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily
  • Parents are encouraged to read the picture books with their children. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily
  • The society's council members have to sacrifice their weekends travelling to rural areas to promote reading habit among the school children there. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily

MARANG, Oct 15 (Sin Chew Daily) -- To enhance the exposure of rural students and their parents to the fun of picture book reading, Rainforest Picture Book Society has been organising field trips to rural areas during weekends in order to sow the seed of reading among rural children.

Rainforest Picture Book Society was established in Kuala Lumpur in 2009, and has since 2014 organised “story-telling trips” to rural areas to promote the reading habit among rural students as well as their parents.

This time, the society has come to three rural schools in the district of Marang in Terengganu, namely SJKC Chong Hwa Wakaf Tapai, SJKC Kampung Baru Batu Lima Dungun and SJKC Kuala Kemaman.

Priority for rural schools

The society's chairman Goh Kok Keong told Sin Chew Daily his team members are all council members of the society. They are part-timers who have their full-time jobs during the weekdays and therefore can only take part in the “story-telling trips” during the weekends or school holidays.

He said the society had since five years ago travelled to many schools across the country, mainly in rural areas. Any organisation keen to promote picture book reading can apply, including schools and local civic associations.

“We will give priority to micro schools in rural areas because we feel these places need our presence most.”

300 picture books given away each time

Goh said the society would give away between 200 and 300 picture books to students during each of the story-telling events, adding that these picture books have been generously donated by individuals and organisations.

“Other than sponsoring the cost of our activities, our partner Rotary Club KLCC also sponsors book-sharing boxes for participating schools and organisations to provide free picture books for the students' reading pleasure.”

In addition to story-telling for school children and their parents, the Rainforest Picture Book Society also organises talks for parents as well as parents-children picture book reading time, etc. to encourage parents to read with their children together.

“We don't want the parents to just leave the books to their children. We want them to read together with the children. This is one way of spending quality time with children.”

Goh said there are many things we can learn from picture books, and he hoped parents would take time off their busy schedule to read with their children and accompany them through their growing years.

He also hoped that school teachers would use the picture books as a teaching material, as interesting picture books would remarkably enhance the effects of learning for the children.


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