23 Mar, 2018
10 : 00
Throughout the month of March, Yew Chung International School of Beijing has held literacy-themed activities focused on inspiring a joy of reading in students. As one of the sponsors of the Bookworm Literary Festival, YCIS Beijing welcomed a series of guest authors to campus where they held book readings and workshops. Authors Trevor Lai, Julia Cook, Sarah Brennan, Dan Goldman, and Xu Xi captured students’ imaginations with vivid stories and inspiring advice for how they could continue to hone their own writing skills.
Other activities have included a Battle of the Books competition during which Secondary students competed in book trivia against students from other Beijing international schools, and Dr. Seuss Literacy Week – a week-long collection of activities for Primary students including Character Dress Up and Snuggle Up & Read Days.
But what are some ways that parents can promote continued reading at home? And how does reading benefit students on their road towards global citizenship? YCIS Beijing Librarian and Head of Information Services Landy Hwang helps to explain.
Are You Junie B. Jones?
Instilling a love of reading in children is one of the greatest gifts you can give them, as creating students who love to read (and love to learn) will benefit them for many years into the future. This was the focus and aim of Literacy Week at YCIS Beijing.
One example of how this was done was during Character Dress Up Day. Students were able to dive deeper into their favourite stories, connecting with literature in a new way as they contemplated who they wanted to be for the day. Then, when coming to school, they were excited to hear a teacher ask, for example, “Are you Junie B. Jones?” And they can excitedly reply, “Yes, I am!”
Cultivating Reading Time
Meanwhile, for parents at home, the most important step towards cultivating a love of reading in your children is to be a model for them. Set aside time each day for reading, showing your own love of reading as a parent and your children will notice – and they’ll begin to see the value of reading as well. This “Reading Time” can then become a family activity, with allotted time after dinner, for example, spent with phones and telephones switched off and everyone together engaged in their favourite books.
For younger children, parents can read with them together, even acting out the stories with costumes and voices. Without older children, however, members of the family could read their own books, but doing it together, and making time for it, reinforces its importance and sets students up for a lifetime love of reading.
Live a Thousand Lives
Reading benefits students on their road towards global citizenship because through reading you can enter the thoughts and experiences of people from cultures all around the globe. As author George RR Martin says, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”
As a part of Literacy Week, global citizenship was emphasized through Mother Tongue Day, during which parents were invited to come to campus and read books in their mother tongue. With a multitude of languages on display, students were reinforced with the feeling that we all live together as members of one world.
Though students many not have known some of the words in the stories they heard, they were still able to enjoy them through pictures, through the social aspect of sharing the stories with their friends, and through the storytelling skills of the parents who read. Through this activity, students gained an appreciation both of the importance of global citizenship, and also of the joys and power of reading.
Literacy – A Whole month dedicated to literary, collaboration with bookworm. A month filled with literacy activities. And being key sponsors of the bookworm.
While Literacy Week took place this week alone, other literacy activities have been held on campus throughout.