Friday, April 3, 2009

The Very Happy Readers


At Pratham Books we like to make friends and to get kids reading. So, yours truly was thrilled to be on Skype, that allowed her, sitting in Bangalore, to see and hear children in Central Manor in Washington Boro, Pennsylvania, reading out stories to her.

To make reading a happy exercise, Ms.Teresa Reisinger got Nick, a 6th grader to read out to me first. Nick read out from ‘Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type’ by Doreen Cronin. What do farmyard animals do when they find an abandoned typewriter? Why, they go click clack moo and type out a demand for an electric blanket to keep them warm, of course! That’s what happens on Farmer Brown’s farm, and Nick said he liked this Farmer Brown story a lot.

Taylor, a 5th grade student read out ‘The Very Busy Spider”, an Eric Carle classic. Taylor held up one page that showed the Spider’s completed web, and said he loved this particular illustration. Incidentally, Eric Carle is so popular, that the world celebrated March 20, 2009, as “The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day.” The day marked the 40th anniversary of this book.

On March 22, World Storytelling Day, students of Akshara Foundation Library were part of our collaboration with Central Manor. The two sets of kids traded stories across the globe, thanks to Skype. My own time with them showed how technology can help in promoting reading.

Pratham Books would like to thank Central Manor for this experience. We'd like to be Forever Friends! And now I leave you with the mail sent by Ms.Teresa Reisinger of Central Manor.

“It was a wonderful morning! The Skype call was perfect!! The children enjoyed reading to you and asking questions. They wore big smiles the rest of the day! They were very nervous( at first…) You really opened Taylor's eyes to how we (India and the US) are alike. It was wonderful! The teacher, Joan, very much enjoyed talking with you!

Thank you very much for your time and commitment to this project. Our children feel very good about their reading after they have read with you folks from Pratham books. They get much needed encouragement from the Skype sessions. It makes them want to read, to practice, for the next time they get a turn to read.
We greatly appreciate all you have done for our children!!!!”

We would love to hear from you, so go Click Clack Moo on your keyboards, please!

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