Take Children to Book Stores, Not Shopping Malls

DUBAI — Parents should take their children to book stores instead of shopping malls, supermarkets and amusement parks in order to instill reading habits in them, said the Principal of Mirdiff Private School, Randa Hani Ghandour.

by Dhanusha Gokulan

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Published: Sat 8 Nov 2008, 12:15 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 7:18 PM

As part of the ‘Million Books Challenge’ initiative by Dubai Cares, the Mirdiff Private School set its own record by encouraging the students, staff and parents of the school to read a thousand books in a span of two hours on Thursday. Children from kindergarten to Grade 6 actively participated in the reading challenge, and some of them read five books in two hours.

As part of the Red Day celebrations at the school, students and staff voiced the need to curb ‘illiteracy’ around the world. A few students at the school had set goals of reading more than four books in an hour’s time. The books were provided by the school library and the students were asked to bring a few books from home.

The principal of Mirdiff Private School said it was very sad that the habit of reading among children was dying and it was the responsibility of both educators as well as parents to instill reading habits in the children.

“Strictly lecturing about reading will not encourage a child to read. Parents can make more trips to book stores rather than shopping malls and amusement centres. Each child has his or her own area of interests and parents can show and buy them books which are related to the subject of their liking,” said Randa.

Sixth grader Mariam Osama has read 20 books in the last few days and aspires to read many more by the end of the campaign.Reading is one of my favourite hobbies, and I take this as an opportunity to read a lot more books,” said Mariam. Hamad Ibrahim, 11, read four books and his parents and teachers explained to him the words he could not understand.

The teachers read the books to kindergarten students during an interactive session. Reema Smidi, one of the teachers read the book ‘Lazy Little Lady Bug’ to the children. Many parents of the children were also involved in the day’s functions.

Mignon Davis, whose two daughters study in Mirdiff Private School, was concerned as to why her elder daughter was not reading too many books.

“When you put such a challenge like the Million Book one, they are encouraged to read as their friends and peers read alongside them. Parents need to read along with smaller children and maintain a record of the books the child has read,” said Mignon. Most schools all over the UAE are taking active part to in the ‘Million Books Challenge’.

The number of books read touched the 200,000 mark on Wednesday. There would be a visual meter on display on the Burj Dubai in a week’s time, which will indicate the number of books that have been read and donated.


Dhanusha Gokulan
Dhanusha Gokulan

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