kidsREAD leveraged on the strengths of various community partners and corporate sponsors to create and sustain this reading programme. It promotes the love of reading, cultivates good reading habits and provides an avenue for children from various races to interact from an early age. Formation of kidsREAD Advisory and Working Committees
The kidsREAD Advisory Committee (comprising representatives from the People’s Association and the community self-help groups) lends support and provides advice on the programme while NLB serves as the secretariat.
The Working Committee, which comprises the volunteer coordinators, provides a platform for the discussion of key issues concerning the clubs as well as a forum for sharing ideas. Each reading club is assigned a volunteer co-ordinator who is responsible for running the club and managing the volunteers for the programme. The coordinators are either volunteers or staff from the organisation which is running the reading club.
Forming the backbone of the programme, volunteers aged 15 years and above, who have a passion for reading and working with children are continually recruited to conduct the kidsREAD programme at various Reading Clubs located across Singapore. They will receive training in basic storytelling skills and techniques to conduct the kidsREAD reading session before they are assigned to the Clubs.
A set of kidsREAD Volunteer Resource Guidebooks is developed by early childhood educators to aid volunteers in the operation of the Reading Clubs. Comprising of detailed plans for each of the selected storybooks that will be used in the reading sessions, the guidebook also outlines suggested activities to enhance the children’s engagement with the story. Stationery, craft materials and puppets are provided at each reading club to equip volunteers with ample resources for their creative use.
It started off with just the setting up of Reading Clubs at the community clubs and centres affiliated with community self-help groups. The plan evolved during the process of implementation as more parties came onboard and offered to set up Reading Clubs within their own organisations. Today, Reading Clubs are found in the Family Service Centres, Student Care Centres, community children’s libraries, schools and children’s homes.
These organisations also helped to recruit volunteers and children for their Clubs.
Through this extensive network, kidsREAD was able to broaden its reach and provide children with the opportunity to join the Reading Clubs.