kidsREAD Programme Sees Positive Results
Tuesday, 26 June 2012
TODAY (Pg 17)
SINGAPORE - A programme to cultivate good reading habits amongst young Singaporeans, in particular children from low-income families, has made a difference in the lives of children, a study has found.
Children who attended kidsREAD, a collaborative effort by the National Library Board (NLB), People's Association (PA) and five self-help groups, saw improvements in their reading ability as well as their overall command, comprehension and use of the English language, researchers found.
They were also more participative, interactive, cheerful and enthusiastic during the reading sessions.
The one-year study was conducted in 2010 by Masters student Ms Janet Law under the supervision of Dr Noel Chia from the National Institute of Education at the Nanyang Technological University.
kidsREAD, now in its eighth year, reaches out to children between the ages of four and eight.
During each weekly one-hour session, the volunteers read stories aloud for the first 30 minutes. They then divide the children into smaller groups and a volunteer would engage each group in a variety of activities such as craft, board games, poetry and songs.
The students are evaluated in 10 areas at the start, middle and end of the programme. Data collected at the beginning and end of the programme as pre and post test data are used. Some areas of evaluation include the children's frequency in using the English Language, level of participation, general disposition and interaction with peers. Parents were also surveyed at the end of the programme. Eight in 10 parents reported that their child was able to read better and 84 per cent said their child was more interested in reading.
A total of 186 children participated and 12 reading clubs were involved. There are now more than 100 kidsREAD clubs around the island, with each club able to accommodate up to 30 children.
Source: TODAY (Pg 17), sph