On Friday October 21, China’s first Kids Read event took place in Beijing.
Kids Read is an award-winning project originally developed by the British Council, the UK’s overseas cultural and educational organization, with the goal of encouraging the love of reading in children of middle school age.
“Reading is the core part of any curriculum,” say Sam Ayton, Director of English at the British Council in China. “Reading boosts not only technical skills, but also communication skills. And most importantly, it’s a lot of fun!”
Founded in 2011, Kids Read moved to China in 2016, where it is sponsored by HSBC. The project aims to reach 1400 students and 40 teachers at six underprivileged schools across the city. The schools were chosen as having a significant number of minority or migrant children among their student body.
The project’s first community event took place at Changshengyuan Primary School, Changping district. Parents and grandparents enjoyed songs and stories from students, and also demonstration lessons from two teachers who have been trained by Kids Read, showing off the skills they have learned.
British educational theater group Whitehorse Theatre performed a play to help children learn basic English words, such as colors and foods. A group of students had made a video, which along with videos from schools all round the world will be shown globally on November 20, to mark the UN’s Universal Children’s Day.
At the end of the event the school was presented with a collection of 200 British children’s books. Zhang Huifeng, Head of Corporate Sustainability, HSBC China, said the company would like to build Kids Read into a long-term and sustainable program, “boosting Chinese students’ motivation in learning English.”