Kids Read, an award-winning programme sponsored by HSBC and developed by the British Council, aims to encourage reading for pleasure in and out of the classroom. It started in 13 countries in the Middle East and North Africa in 2011, and then came to East Asia in 2014 with 8 more countries rolling out the programme, including Taiwan.
In Taiwan we work with six schools each year, nominated by the educational authorities, donating quality picture books written by British authors. The programme starts with teacher training sessions that introduce communicative and creative teaching approaches to encourage student engagement. To reach children and parents in the wider community, HSBC staff volunteers work with the British Council on storytelling and arts & crafts activities at community events. Children, teachers and parents are also encouraged to take part in Kids Read competitions, including naming the mascot, creating picture books, and storytelling.
HSBC Kids Read promotes the Reading is Fun programme for 3rd year
After two successful years, the British Council in Taiwan announced Thursday the extension of the HSBC Kids Read programme in Taiwan for the third year, thanks to the continued support of the HSBC Bank (Taiwan) Limited and the local educational authorities. Taiwan is one of the eight countries in East Asia to extend this reading programme this year.
Kids Read is an award-winning reading programme solely and financially supported by HSBC Group, and developed and implemented by the British Council with the aim of encouraging a love for reading inside and outside the classroom among primary school children. HSBC Kids Read was first launched in the Middle East and North Africa in 2011, and following three years of successful experiences in the MENA region, the programme was extended to East Asia in 2014.
Increasing Level of Engagement and Motivation for Students
Sam Ang, Managing Director and Head of Banking with HSBC Taiwan, highlighted the company’s dedication to helping less privileged young people to access education and to develop their levels of cultural understanding. “HSBC has a long-term focus on children’s education and has supported the Kids Read programme for the third straight year. I am delighted to participate in the meaningful programme and encourage children with my own experience of how the habit of reading that I cultivated in childhood has benefited my life. We hope to help kids build a good foundation for learning English, which they can lean on to explore the world,” said Sam Ang.
To contribute to these goals in the Kids Read programme, the British Council organizes teacher training workshops, HSBC staff volunteer training workshops, English competitions for teachers and students, and community events jointly staffed by the British Council and HSBC for parents and children.
In the past two years, more than 100 Taiwanese HSBC staff volunteers have attended training workshops to learn how to make storytelling in English more accessible, engaging and fun for kids. More than 7,500 local students have used the books written by highly respected authors, and donated by HSBC and the British Council, and seventy school teachers from the Kids Read participating schools have attended the teacher training sessions to learn how to more effectively introduce and develop interest in reading English books. So, how has the programme done so far? According to a post-programme survey undertaken last year, ninety-five percent of the participating teachers felt that joining the Kids Read project had increased their confidence and skills when teaching using English books, and perhaps more importantly around eighty percent of the teachers agreed that their students now have more confidence and motivation when it comes to reading in English! For HSBC and the British Council, by far the most important result is that many of the underprivileged kids who had previously found English books alien and scary are now reading independently and enjoying themselves immensely while doing so!
Raising Awareness of Equal Opportunity and Diversity
Susana Galván, Director, British Council in Taiwan, is looking forward to another successful year of Kids Read. She emphasised that “new books were selected for this year, some of which will be used to teach young children about equality, diversity and inclusion, in order to help them to broaden their horizons and to develop a wider and more inclusive view of the world.”
Schools in the Kids Read project have reported that the Kids Read programme design, including the competitions and community events, have given them ideas to organize similar activities to continue to give underprivileged kids more access to a fun and engaging English learning environment in the future. They also believe that the Kids Read programme provides a good model in relation to how to globalize the Taiwanese educational environment to help more children develop openness and awareness of cultural differences.
The British Council is an international organization that creates educational opportunities and enhances cultural relations with countries and territories worldwide. The extension of the HSBC Kids Read programme in Taiwan for a third year is thanks to the support of the HSBC Taiwan and the local Taiwanese educational authorities.