Sharing the Joy of Reading

I came to know about Pratham Books when I participated in the IndiBlogger contest in July this year. Pratham Books is a non-profit trust that publishes high quality books for children at affordable prices and in multiple Indian languages. Pratham Books’  dream, to see “A book in every child’s hand”, resonates with me.

When I read about Pratham Books’ Champions program where volunteers are encouraged to conduct reading sessions, I knew I had to be a part of this initiative. The idea was to take 1 book, 1 story to as many children possible on a single day throughout the country. For this initiative, more than 600+ Champions registered to conduct 1000+ storytelling sessions to celebrate International Literacy Day.

I registered for this program and soon I received mails sharing the guidelines and suggestions along with ebooks, and a courier containing the books and a banner.

I met the Principal of Indo Bharat International School, which is located near my home. I shared the program’s concept and design with her and she readily agreed.

With a spring in my step, I reached the school to share the story of Paplu, the Giant, with the kids. I was greeted by equally excited some 60 children from class Nursery to Class III.

I narrated the story of ‘Paplu, the Giant’ (written by Ramendra Kumar and illustrated by Zainab Tambawalla), in Hindi. It is a delightful story about a little giant who did not like to fight with anyone!

The children listened to the story with rapt attention and were a perfect audience. I loved the way they responded in a chorus and in a sing song manner to every question of mine. Their enthusiastic ‘Good Morning Ma’am’ made my day.

To see, if they were following the story, I asked them questions and they had all the answers.

There is a magic verse in the story, “Main tumhe uchalu, main tumhe pakar loon, bhoolna na tum mera jadoo” (I’ll throw you up, I’ll catch you quick. Don’t forget my magic trick). I made the kids repeat this verse and they simply loved saying it aloud. This little one raised his hand and said, “I would like to repeat the magic words on my own”. His recitation received a big applause from all the students and the teachers.

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The pictures below share the rest of the story…

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Story telling in action…

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Looks like the teachers enjoyed the story too…

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Showing them Paplu’s new dress.

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Listening with rapt attention.

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With the teachers at the end of the session.

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Reading aloud to friends.

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We love reading too!

This story telling session is a step towards sharing the joy of reading. Story sharing is a key activity and a crucial component of a child’s development into a mature reader. We should strive  to encourage children to read because they ‘want’ to, not because they ‘have’ to, thus creating the beginning of a life-long love of books. And as parents and teachers we have a big role in helping them fall in love with the world of books.

Thank you Pratham Books, I am glad to be a part of this journey of spreading the joy of reading!

My post is shared at http://champions.prathambooks.org/, here

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41 thoughts on “Sharing the Joy of Reading

    • Thanks a lot, Shilpa. Agree, this is a fabulous initiative. And it was a wonderful experience, meeting, interacting and sharing with such bright and happy kids 🙂

  1. Super. But I wish this program is conducted for people who don’t know to read, as well. They might be inspired to start learning how to read. But even otherwise, it’s a good move – reading is much better than today’s entertainment options and kids need to be really initiated into it. Great job!

    Destination Infinity

    • This program could be conducted for all kids… so one had the option to read to children from under-served communities, orphanages, govt schools, kids from your locality too. I saw pictures where people conducted story telling sessions in their homes, parks… The idea is to spread awareness about books and reading. Agree, books and reading is the best gift that we can give to a child… as this will open a different and a new world for them. Thanks DI 🙂

  2. A very good initiative Shilpa, and glad to know that you are part of it. The joy of sharing a story is quite evident in both the children and the story teller 🙂
    I just want to surround my little one with books and make him fall in love with them 🙂 Hope I succeed 🙂

    • Thank you Seena. I am glad that I did this. It was an exciting and a wonderful experience. Good luck to you and may your efforts turn the lil Babs into a bookworm 🙂

  3. Wow ! You know what, when I saw the pictures of the children sitting in rapt attention, I wished I could be a child too ! After all, who doesn’t love listening to stories ? 🙂
    nice initiative and good that you could be a part of it. Congrats ! 🙂

  4. Wow! you walked the talk or rather what you blogged about. I remember that indiblogger post.
    It must have been a satisfying experience to reach out to those little children, Right?

    This was my job some 2 years back. I worked as a visiting facilitator across many schools and story telling was the medium.

  5. A really great & interactive initiative to participate in. Though, I like to keep away from telling stories to so young ones – reality is not for such tender age. They should enjoy there imaginations & wonderful dreams. Instead I would love to watch cartoon with them 😛

    • This was a story of Paplu, the Giant… a story from their cartoon world and not the real world. Though personally, I wished if we narrated a story which was relevant in today’s times and had a message for them too!

  6. That’s a great initiative and kudos to you Shilpa for taking time from your schedule for this. These kind of initiatives will draw kids to the books hopefully and away from TV and video games.

    • I was interacting with the teachers and was telling them they each day they must have so many reasons to smile and laugh as these little ones are so amazing and full of innocence and mischief. You must have a lot of stories of your students to share too! 🙂

  7. Awesome Shilpa…am so glad u did this 🙂
    Every step forward by people like you, is certainly going to make a huge difference among the children of the country !!

    Let me know if they have something similar here in my city 🙂

  8. Lucky children and lucky you Shilpa to be part of such a fab initiative 🙂
    Sorry haven’t been regular,am in the middle of moving our home and so a little held up on that front, also borrowed internet translates to absence in blog-o-sphere..Will surely return to read the posts I missed…

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