Monday, July 26, 2010

Why should kids read???

Our friends at Karadi Tales tweeted asking, Why Do You Think Children Should Read? We thought we'd ask around, and here's what we got. (The responses are from both people in our office, and from our friends outside via emails, messages and tweets.) In no particular order:

Divya - because it stimulates their imagination and transports them into far-away lands! It teaches them to a world where everything is hard reality- you don't want bricks in the wallyou can really do something only when you dream of it

Makepeace - besides increasing their vocabulary, its also a way to channelize their imagination and curiosity in a creative and productive way...also kids who read a lot besides being better at speaking and/or writing, also have a wide knowledge base and better reasoning skills

Anuradha - i think kids should read because it improves vocabulary, helps develop visualisation skills and reading gives kids character role models

Aarthi - how else do you build vocabulary? how do you build imagination?

Anonymous: er... tough one to put in words
id rather just tell a kid to - go read. :P

Maya:I want to say that books allow you to travel to different worlds.. yeeehaaww

Gautam: About the only data that has been available consistently in the past five years has been from the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) and some key findings for Karnataka were that only about 39% of the children between standards 1-8 can read a standard 2 level text with the implication that around 5.3 million children in the state who are unable to read in their medium of instruction. Only 11% children in Standards 3 to 5 can read an English sentence and only 35% children in Bangalore can read English.

This pathetic state of affairs threatens to ruin the lives of millions of children in Karnataka and much larger numbers across the country,
and it would not be entirely out of place if we were to say that the failure of the schools is gradually destroying democracy. The often repeated rhetoric of elementary education being a fundamental right (now further enshrined in the Right to Education Bill 2009) seems to be accompanied by an inability to make the schools work for the children. Reading, along with Writing and Arithmetic, are the fundamental building blocks for a functional democracy, a working social system and a functioning market. That said, Reading is a "good" in its own right and must be encouraged.

Sanjay: To know more about the world...

Paulomi: cuz reading takes me to another a kid i used to read a lot of "champak, tinkle and all othr kinds of books and loved them to the core.

Tharini: Every child should have the freedom, ability and sheer pleasure of being able to disappear (as though magically) into another realm, another world if they so wish... Books are a source of comfort, of stability, of ideas, of fancy, and everyone must be able to access that. If you want access to that world, you need to discover the key as a child, for if you find it as an adult, then half the charm is lost. Cheesy, but thats what I believe. Oh yeah, and it gives you SO MUCH to talk about!

Vamshiavk: to improve vocabulary n imagination

Kirnamanral: Kids should read to keep them from destroying the house.

Shachii Manik: Children should read to discover the world around them. For kids, every new word they learn brings a lot more meaning in their lives. They can make long journeys through books. :)
Why only children? Adults should read "children's books" too.

Jitesh: A kid's mind is always jumping from one thing to another. Reading, makes them focus on 1 thing
it allows kids to increase their attention span on a particular thing. in this case the book or subject

Tara: cause its fun, gives them a chance to disappear into other peoples stories...

Sowmya: For knowledge, improving memory power...

Bhargavi: cos its fun. they learn an lot, keeps mind active, develops imagination...

Ashwitha: because narratives are an important way of understanding the world.

Nanda Ramesh: Reading is important for many reasons. First and foremost a good reading habit is required in whatever profession a child chooses. All learning, communication involves some language and reading helps the child to master it and excel in thei...r career. Second, it is the best way to learn. Information is still mostly kept in text somewhere which one has to read to understand. Third, I always feel discovering something by reading rather than by watching video is much more creative and satisfying. This is because, reading does not impose visuals and sound on the reader and lets them imagine it whichever way they want.

Mika22: Children should read to discover new worlds, experience new ideas, explore the quirky, the new, the 'impossible'.....both within their imaginations and outside of it.

Keep the comments coming! Why should kids read???

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