Ajla Grozdanic, Manager, Marketing and Communications, U.S. Programs
February 14, 2013
From Valentine’s Day to World Read Aloud Day on March 6, this time of year is all about spreading the love—love of reading, that is. Teaching our kids to become skilled readers early on is key to ensuring their success in school and life. This is as true in America as it is in Nepal, Mali or any other country for that matter. Why? Because education is one of the most viable pathways out of poverty.
That’s why Save the Children, through our early childhood education and school-based programs, strives to help disadvantaged children around the world, including right here in the United States, develop and grow as readers. The results speak for themselves! In America alone, 69 percent of participants in our literacy programs showed significant improvements in overall reading ability and the number of those reading at or above grade level more than doubled by the end of the school year.Here, some of our once strugglingreaders from the United States and Nepal tell us how their newfound love of the written word turned them into young bookworms.
“I love reading because you can learn many things in a book. You can even learn how to build a hamster home!” –Kori, 7, Point Pleasant, WV
“When I read, my grades will be better. Being able to read helps you read stories. When you can read, you can become anything you want. I like Nepali stories. My Nepali textbook has many stories and poems. My favorite poem is ‘such a pretty sun, such a pretty shadow, the two play together in the ground.’ I think this poem is very nice.” –Umesh, 3rd grader, Nepal
“I love to read because the pictures and stories help me to imagine that I am somewhere else!” –Nevaeh, 7, Landers, CA
“I like to read because there are new adventures all the time. Fiction is my favorite, because you can get inside the adventure.” –Brandon, 11, Lobelville, TN
“I think reading will make me smart. My father brought a book for me from Qatar. The storybook is in two languages, Arabic and Nepali. It’s about a teacher who teaches Arabic. My father reads the story to me.” –Anita, 1st grader, Nepal
“The more I read, the faster and better I can read. It helps me to get better grades.” –Orlando, 9, Shaw, MS
“I like reading because when I grow up I want to become an engineer or a teacher. My favorite book is DhungakoKhichadi (Stone Porridge). I like stories about old men and women.” –Bijay, 3rd grader, Nepal
“Because my mama likes to read!” –Kayla, 8, Shaw, MS
“Reading lets me travel to awesome places in my imagination. That’s why I like to read.”—Nyla, 9, Foxworth, MS
“Reading is good for your mind.” –Dontavious, 9, Columbia, MS
“I love reading because it takes my mind to a different world.” –Macie, 10, Williston, SC
“I love to read because it helps me learn.” –Hayden, 8, Maury City, TN
“Reading can take you on exciting adventures.” –A.J., 8, Maury City, TN
“I want to be a veterinarian and reading is helping make my dreams come true! I already work at the zoo and reading has helped give me the knowledge I need to do my job well.” –Dedra, 16, Lobelville, TN (former student in Save the Children’s U.S. school-based program)
“I love reading, because if I read a book and I see the movie, for instance, Harry Potter, I can compare them. They usually leave out details and skip scenes in movies. Books have more details.” –Lauren, 11, Morongo Valley, CA
“I love to read books because it’s the only fun thing I can do.” –Patrick, 10, Morongo Valley, CA
“I read because Nana says I got to. It is fun and I learn my ABC’s from books.” –Emilee, 3, Jackson, KY
All photos taken by Save the Children staff.