WITH children increasingly losing interest in reading, the parents of SJKC Puay Chai 2 pupils in Bandar Utama decided to put together three reading corners within the school compound.
The reading corners meant to cultivate the habit were set up about three months ago and are placed strategically in the foyer, outside the library and the activity hall.
Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) treasurer Wendy Cheah said children nowadays were more likely to indulge in digital games even when they eat.
Year 1 and 2 pupils being entertained at the launch of the reading corners.
“We have placed the books in such a way that the covers face out to attract the children to pick them up,” said Cheah.
“In November last year, we conducted a pilot study by putting old copies of the Young Scientist magazine on the shelves.
“Surprisingly, about 30 to 40 of them huddled around the shelves to read,” said Cheah, who is the brains behind this initiative.
“Following the successful, we were willing to spend about RM8,000 on shelves and renovations to set up the reading corners,” she added.
Since then, many parents have sponsored the books, for which school principal Pang Lai Cheun is grateful.
“With these parents voluntarily contributing RM20 to sponsor a new book, we can buy lots of books for the reading corners,” she said.
The books are changed every two months so that the pupils do not get bored.
(From left) Eight-year olds Hayley Lim, Lo Hong Shern and Emily Ho enjoying the books at one of the reading corners at SJKC Puay Chai 2 in Bandar Utama
“Setting up a reading corner is easy, but making it sustainable is another matter. This is why we are constantly coming up with plans and initiatives to instill the reading habit in pupils,” said Cheah.
“One example is a contest for pupils in Year 3 to 6 to review a book they love in the reading corner, while Year 1 and 2 pupils were told to read the books there prior to the launch on March 15 to prepare for quizzes that offer attractive prizes,” she added.
Volunteers from the parent support group have also been holding interactive storytelling sessions at the school several times a year.
Pupils and teachers acting out scenes from ‘Timmy Tapir Learns to Do Whats Right‘ during the launch of the reading corners. — Photos: RICKY LAI/The Star
Pang said the PTA might engage a clown or interesting TV personalities to help conduct “live” quizzes based on the books that the children have read.
At the launch of the reading corners, around 900 Year 1 and 2 pupils were entertained with a storytelling session, magic show and ventriloquist puppet show.