British Council launches ‘Kids Read’ programme

TRIBUNE NEWS NETWORK

DOHA BRITISH Council and HSBC launched ‘Kids Read’ programme at Al Bayan Primary- 1 Girls’ Independent School, recently.

The programme held for the second consecutive academic year is an initiative aimed to foster good reading habits and encourage reading for pleasure inside and outside the classroom in government primary schools across the Middle East and Asia.

The year-long programme actively engages primary schoolchildren, teachers, parents and guardians through a combination of school activity and community events.

This year, ‘Kids Read’ will reach out to over 25,000 children, in the region, in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The launch included a storytelling session delivered by Kevin Graal. Graal is an experienced UK storyteller and teacher trainer in the field.

His combination of storytelling skills and timing proved to be a hit with children and teachers.

For his part, Ayman R Kolthoum, head of Global Markets, said the collaboration with the British Council was a decent platform to support the development of children’s reading skills and overall educational development.

“The ‘Kids Read’ programme was successful last year. Our staff volunteers participated in a number of sessions and noted the increased level of interest and active participation by the children.

HSBC will continue its participation in the programme and is excited to be part of it for the second consecutive year.

The British Council is a valuable partner and makes a tangible difference in the community, particularly in the areas of education and the environment,” he said.

In its first year, ‘Kids Read’ was awarded the Silver ‘Stevie’ Award in the Corporate Social Responsibility Programme of the Year (Middle East and Africa) category at the 2012 International Business Awards.

British Council Director Martin Hope said, “Following the success of the first year of ‘Kids Read’, we are excited to be launching this follow-up programme, which will enable many more children to develop their reading skills. ‘Kids Read’ is an important component of our English for the future offer in Qatar. I am grateful to HSBC for their continued support for this initiative. It would not have been possible without their generous funding and their staff volunteers participating in the community events.” ‘Kids Read’, developed by British Council, aims to promote good reading habits at an early age, with a longterm view to improve performance across a range of life skills in addition to develop language skills and critical thinking.

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