It’s a brand new term and we’ve rolled out a new reading program for the pupils at RMMS. The aim of this program is to encourage independent reading in classes 6, 7 and 8.
With the help of volunteer donations, over the last few months we have compiled a collection of books for 8-12 yr olds. From this assortment of popular children’s titles, including Roald Dahl, Harry Potter and Narnia, we have been able to lend each pupil their own book. GVI volunteers have recommended books for individuals that they will find interesting and that match their reading ability. In addition to this, each pupil has also been issued their own reading log. This is treated like a reading diary and pupils are responsible for filling it out in their own time by noting down their progress throughout the book. To help improve English comprehension, there is also space for the pupils to compile any questions or vocabulary that they do not understand. This system of self-monitoring enables the pupils to see their own progress, providing a sense of achievement. Additionally, each week the class volunteers meet with the pupils individually to look over their reading logs, answer any questions and listen to the pupils read aloud. This gives us the opportunity to monitor student progress and evaluate the suitability of the book.
The pupils were delighted with their new books, as those currently on offer in the library are not only limited but mostly cater for a younger audience. Aside from increasing reading time we are also trying to demonstrate to the pupils that reading can be fun if you find the right book. After a few early swaps all the pupils are happy with their choice and a number of pupils have already moved onto a second book. This new initiative has also been supported by the Fijian teachers who are now assigning additional time for reading in the afternoons.
Last week a mother complained to a volunteer that she couldn’t get her daughter to help with the housework all weekend because she was so enthralled by Harry Potter. The introduction of these new reading books has ignited a passion for reading in classes 6-8 which we will work towards sustaining in the future. We are hoping to continue expanding our book collection but with a limited selection of children’s books on offer we rely on donations from outside of Fiji. If you are interested in donating to our program we are looking for books aimed at 8-12 year olds and a ‘wish list’ can be requested from [email protected]