Children can be encouraged to write stories on their own.
Sharjah: Knowledge without Borders (KwB), a Sharjah-based cultural initiative that has taken significant strides towards raising community awareness about reading and culture, is now offering 10 ideas to inculcate the habit of reading among families.
Under its landmark 'Home Library' project, KwB had previously provided home libraries to more than 42,000 Emirati households in Sharjah. Each home library comprised 50 books on a range of topics to meet the diverse reading habits and interests of family members of all age groups.
KwB’s 10 ideas to promote reading are in line with its goal of supporting society members as they choose to stay home and abide by the physical distancing policies in place due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
A home library plays a vital role in bringing family and books together. Hence, it should be well-organised and indexed to provide all family members with easy access to knowledge. All members should be encouraged to enrich the library with new titles. An index, within a home library setting, that classifies books by genre will encourage family members to look for and pick up their favourite books easily.
The joy of reading does not end with turning the last page of a book. The love for the stories you read is further enhanced when you discuss it. KwB suggests the creation of a ‘Family Book Club’ that encourages every member to read a chosen book which can then be discussed together. It is an inspiring way to encourage young kids to read independently, and to connect and bond over great books. Competitions amongst family members are also important tools to motivate the practice of reading, and to create a positive environment that enriches the reading experience.
Encourage role playing
To further promote the reading habit, KwB suggests the inclusion of fun activities to go along with reading books. For instance, role play of fictional characters is bound to increase the reader’s interaction with the content. Creating a ‘Home Theatre’ brings family members and books together. An imaginative and creative interpretation of stories and novels through role play has a key role in helping children understand the message of the story and nurtures their creativity at an early age.
Get into the habit of taking notes and exchanging comments on the books you read. This is an effective way to expand knowledge, and share information and thoughts about that book with other readers, which may encourage them to want to read it.
Open your mind and expand your knowledge by reading up on different topics spanning culture, science, philosophy, history, and other disciplines. According to KwB, reading is a journey of discovery that uncovers hidden treasures within the pages of books.
Children have tremendous inborn capabilities and potential, but how do you unleash this and nurture their talents? You can do so by encouraging them to write stories on their own, suggests KwB. This will improve their creative writing skills and enable them to turn more ideas into stories. Rewarding them for their efforts is an effective way to inspire children and motivate them to work to the best of their abilities.
Boost a love of reading from an early age with engaging, educational stories that can be accessed through a range of multi-volume book series. These books often carry adventurous, entertaining stories with colourful illustrations that hold the interest of the young ones. Some books also contain hidden mysteries and treasures in every page, waiting to be discovered. Setting up a reading reward chart for every member of the family is an added motivational tool to cultivate a life-long love of reading.
In January, Sharjah International Airport passengers left for various parts of the world, carrying free books they chose on a variety of topics. These books were brought in as part of the ‘Travel with a Book’ event organised by the Knowledge without Borders (KwB) initiative for airport passengers and employees, which accented the usual scenes at this busy airport with a string of memorable cultural happenings.
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The cultural programme features illustrator/writer seminars, workshops, reading and matchmaking sessions that will highlight the conscientious contributions made to the sphere of children’s literature by the UAE and the Arab region.
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