Reading project

Last month, 12 of our house mothers attended a daylong seminar held in conjunction with the Good Shepherd Sisters Social Work team. The theme for the day was “Reading with children”. The social work team identified the benefits of reading to kids, improving literacy, developing and feeding curiosity in little ones, and maybe starting a lifelong relationship with books. Reading can lead to more confidence, a better understanding of their environment, and greater self-awareness for children. The staff even got to come home with a bunch of donated books. 

For over a year now, Sarnelli House has had two full time teachers working alongside the house mothers and they have always encouraged reading and regularly read to their students, and Kate has developed and restocked libraries in the houses for kindergarten and grade school children. At the moment, it is mostly short picture books, but as the children get older, we hope they will develop an interest in all sorts of reading. For example, for many years, Brian has been led around bookstores in Nong Khai by teenagers looking for romance, sci-fi and horror novels. But not all of the teenagers are comfortable with books and this was the first time that staff had been taught the benefits of encouraging reading among the younger children.

It has worked with great success so far and the children, from toddlers to grade 6, are responding very well to the program. The Good Shepherd Sisters Social Work team will conduct a follow up visit to give further support to our staff over the next month. In time, we hope that some of the older kids can sit with their smaller brothers and sisters and spend some quiet time reading aloud to them. But for now, we are delighted to see our children engaged, entertained, and even inspired by books.


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