Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Many of us when we were kids grew up surrounded by books, story books more likely, English books more pertinently. Within the pages of these books, from Enid Blyton books to Lewis Carroll, we are transported to new realms of mystery, fun and adventure, far removed from our meagre family surroundings. The decades of neglect of the English language has made the reading of English books a rarity rather than the norm for the youngsters of today. Yes some of the more well to do kids can still read e-books on their fancy new media devices but what about the poorer kids? Not only can’t they afford to pay a tutor for extra English lessons, many can’t even speak the language at all.
Jumble Station solved this problem by teaming up with Community Excel Services (CES) to offer English tuition classes every Saturday afternoon for the last 8 years. However this once a week benefit is insufficient for many a poor parent keen to have their kids be conversant in the language or at least understand it to the best of their ability. Realising the need to fill this desire for the younger generation to learn English, PWP took the initiative to get and renovate shop lot next door to Jumble Station’s second hand shop at Angsana low cost flats and appropriately name it as Reading Station. Here, youngsters and even adults can have free access to English story books and read them in peace and comfort if they so choose. Reading Station will also be the venue for those who want to volunteer their time to read stories to the youngsters, share or teach English nursery rhymes and spark the desire to read among the young ones.
In late October, Rema Menon who has spent quite a bit of her own free time teaching English to the well heeled kids decided to lend a hand to PWP and accompanied by two friends, Ms Siew Bean a retired maths teacher and Ms Jean Choo a retired college lecturer, they successfully kick-started the Reading Station. The youngsters who were present that day, had an hour long interesting reading and sharing session and the teachers found it a very conducive and cool environment to begin their first of what they hope is a long term programme. To Rema, the process is focused more on the need to instill a passion for reading among the kids and that the teachers concerned will zero in more on the input than the output at this point in time. “It is small beginnings but it is a process in progress and Reading Station is a good start,” she said. Getting the place and making the Reading Station convenient and conducive is key but what PWP needs now are volunteers to spend time with the kids, to share with the kids their love for books and the beauty of the English language, to open the eyes and hearts of the youngsters to a new novel world out there that can someday enable them to be an active participant of the global language scenario that the English language currently occupies.
Those interested in volunteering or donating story books for Reading Station activities, do contact : Jayapratha 019-2331730 or Adrian : 0162202958 .