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On Getting the Children to Read

+1 vote

Re “The Right Way to Bribe Kids to Read ,” by KJ Dell’Antonia (Sunday Review, July 24):

We all know that books fight for priority between laptops and iPhones. But as a teacher and children’s author, I have found that children who love books have parents who are bookworms and grow up with books lying around on every surface, from the kitchen table to unruly piles on the floor.These children always enjoy books at bedtime, as well as an animated reader with a knack for acting the different parts in funny voices, lots of gestures and facial expressions.

Bribes? No way

If children learn that reading is an assignment they are forced to pursue, or a chore they are bribed to do, how can that lead to a love of reading?

Almost all children are naturally curious and motivated to learn when they are free to do so. When they discover early that reading will provide answers to their questions in a dependable way that they can control, that’s when a lifelong love of reading and learning can begin.                                                                                                   

Infants and children get a special reward from being read to: the intimacy of those moments when a parent is completely theirs. This often establishes a lasting link between reading and happiness.                                 Adolescents and parents can strengthen their connection through reading, too. In high school, my son had to read 25 books a year. His father would get his own copy. They’d compare thoughts about the plots and characters, and playfully compete over who would finish first. Now that he’s grown, that son loves reading. Father and son value those times.


posted May 18, 2017 by Krinz Kiran

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+1 vote

Photo credit   V. Srinivas Murthy, The

From a foundation in memory of a friend to a library on the move, young professionals in the city are taking books to those who need them the most

Sarumthy K.

Children at Twinkle Library, which was inaugurated this month, at Cheshire Home on Old Airport Road          

Children living in the neighbourhood of a primary school and crèche run by city-based trust Sewac-B in Guddadahalli, Hebbal, were pleasantly surprised a year ago when stacks of books were delivered to their premises.

It heralded the birth of a library— a gift by four friends.

Under the banner Nirupa Reading Foundation, city-based Rajni Singh and her friends — Vikram Sridhar, Sindhu Naik, and Kapil Vardhan — started setting up libraries in children’s homes, schools, and old age homes across the city. The initiative began last year, and to date, they have set up three libraries—two in Bengaluru and one in Gurugram (Haryana).

Their plan is to spread the habit of reading in cities across India.

Apart from the crèche, the second library in Bengaluru — christened Twinkle Library — was inaugurated this month at Cheshire Home on Old Airport Road.

Nirupa Reading Foundation, which was registered as a trust in March this year, was started in memory of their friend Nirupa, who died after battling cancer at the age of 36. Nirupa, Ms. Singh, and Ms. Naik met when they were part of Runner Girls India, an all-women runners group in Bengaluru, in 2007

“I introduced Nirupa to Vikram and Kapil and we used to travel together extensively. We were almost like a family,” Ms. Singh says. “Nirupa was very fond of reading. We wanted to keep her memory alive in a constructive way, and that is how the foundation came about. We want to give the gift of reading to underprivileged children and adults through the trust,” Ms. Singh, a 41-year-old software engineer, adds.

The Hebbal library is operated by the crèche staff five days a week for two hours in the evening. The children were asked to come up with a name for the library and it was christened “Happy library”. The library has 500 books, of which 120 are in Kannada and the remaining in English.

“Nirupa Reading Foundation contacted us and set up a well-structured library. Now, at least 20 children visit the library every day from the neighbourhood. We also have a librarian to assist the children,” Shalini Joshi, secretary, Sewac-B, says.

At Cheshire Home, which provides care, treatment, and education support to about 45 physically challenged and visually impaired children, 300 children’s books have already been stacked in a cupboard. Most of the books are pre-owned and donated. “The new books are funded by our friends and relatives. We have not gone for corporate funding as of now,” Ms. Singh adds.

The librarians at the two facilities have been trained and all books are colour coded to match with the children’s reading levels. “We have followed the Hippocampus Reading Foundation’s Grow by Reading Model so that children read books appropriate for their age and reading capacity,” she concludes.



+2 votes

In a search for solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing people around the world, the second day of the Unite Conference in Rotterdam looked to build bridges from schools to politicians to policies.                               The world and its multitude of problems may appear overwhelming at first glance, but the mood at Education International (EI)’s Unite for Quality Education and Leadership Conference in The Netherlands’ Education City 2017 could be summed up into one word: action.

That was the message conveyed by speakers and ideas stemming from discussions during day two of the three-day event. The tone of the day was set with the powerful and memorable words of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kailash Satyarthi. The champion of children’s rights, and long-time friend of EI, Satyarthi brought current political and social issues to the fore.  

“Before so many walls are constructed around and inside of us, let's unite the world through bridges of compassion,” he said. “Teachers can lead with conscience, courage and compassion to help build a child-friendly world.”                                                                                                                                                                       The Nobel Laureate announced his new 100 Million for 100 Million Campaign, which was fully endorsed and supported by EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen. The initiative seeks to see that the world’s 100 million child labourers are set free. Of Satyarthi van Leeuwen said that “his story is one of vocational perseverance, dedication to his values and plain and simple hard work.”

His words were also appropriate on day when the troubling trend of post truth was discussed in the context of education, and how teachers can work to counter the reality of false facts. And the theme of compassion and human connection was also relevant as the contentious issue of standardised testing was put to the debate floor. Steffen Handel of the Norwegian EI affiliate UEN exchanged his views with the OECD’s Yuri Belfali.

+1 vote

In Totagalu area of Jangamakote village in Chikkaballapura district, travelling after dusk is mostly forbidden for women and girls. Men also avoid stepping out of their home unless it's absolutely necessary. Reason: The area doesn't have a single streetlight. As crimes on streets were rampant, residents began thinking twice before stepping out. And that's when children decided to get things fixed. The route they took was simple: Makkala Gram Sabhas.

Children, their parents, anganwadi workers, supervisors from department of women and child development, auxiliary nurse midwives, teachers, police officers, school development and monitoring committee members, local NGO representatives and jurisdictional GP members are compulsorily required to be present at the sabhas. Children could raise any issue that affects their lives. Officials and panchayat members take note of the same and initiate action.

+1 vote

The process of the admissions to LKG and Class1 have started in Karnataka schools. The procedures are online and the Aadhar number has been made mandatory to eliminate any risk of duplication in the application process. The child must have an Aadhar card or should have a valid Aadhar enrollment number in order to apply under RTE. The government has also decided to give preference to children of farmers who have committed suicide.

The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Karnataka has also made Aadhar number compulsory for children applying for RTE quota seats. The registration for RTE admissions will not be completed without the Aadhar number or Aadhar enrollment number. The inclusion of Aadhar number will simplify the process of verification. 

The application process is expected to begin today for 1.3 lakh seats for LKG and class I students at private-aided schools. Currently the official website of Department of Public Instruction (DPI) for school education in Karnataka hosts the trial link for application process.

+1 vote

Dayashankar Mishra

Every parent wants their child to do well in life and wants them to get good marks in their exams.                         However, the fiercely competitive world certainly doesn't make things easier. But do marks or a percentage hold a higher priority than your own child? Every year when school board results are declared, it brings with it a wave of depression and a number of suicides among students.

Who is to blame? Is parental pressure to do 'better than your siblings/cousins/friends/neighbours' worth more than your child's happiness and mental wellbeing? Parents sometimes forget that children are a part of them. So what if they didn't score as per your expectations? Should their percentage become a measuring unit for your love for them?

At that point, your love and support is the only thing a child requires - a promise that you're with them at every step of their life, to pick them up when they fall. Because there is no shame in falling down, but there is pride in getting back up. Don't let a mere marksheet make or break the bond of love and compassion you hold for your child. Let them make mistakes, they are, after all, human too.

Salutations to those parents who find a way to celebrate with their children regardless of how they scored in their exams. You might not know it right now, but your unconditional support will definitely help your child later in life and you will see it when they live their life with their heads held high.

Show them love, give them hope, be their pillar of strength like you should, because a small speed-bump should never decide the journey of their life.