RADHICA DE SILVA
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COVID-19 has allowed students more reading time, so some schools are offering opportunities and incentives for reading—reading just for fun, that is.

During an interview with Guardian Media, Principal of ASJA Primary School, Nizamma Khan, said his school was pushing ahead to encourage strong readers during and after the pandemic.

Zaakir Adam Khan, a Standard Four pupil of Princes Town ASJA Primary, is dressed as Harry Potter. (Image courtesy Princes Town ASJA Primary School)

Last week, 398 students from his school engaged in a World Read A Book event, in commemoration of WORLD BOOK DAY.

“We are fortunate that we are located near a library and we have ongoing literacy programs. During World Read Aloud Day, we encouraged our pupils to dress up as their favourite book character and read to their teachers aloud,” he said.

Nazhim Ali, Standard Four pupil of Princes Town ASJA Primary, is dressed as Willy Wonka. (Image courtesy Princes Town ASJA Primary School)

Saying strong readers usually excelled at school, Khan called on students to take a break from the stresses of online pandemic learning by engaging in some fun reading.

Meanwhile, at the Windermere Private School at San Fernando, students also celebrated WORLD BOOK DAY.

Principal Laureen Debance-Misir said the students were encouraged to read to obtain book tokens from bookstores.

“At Windermere, we believe that the love of reading starts early.  We believe that reading must be fun so that our children love reading, books and all things involving literacy and enjoy it at an early age. This makes a strong foundation on which to build at the higher levels,” she said. 

Student of Windermere Private School, Zaara Maharaj of Pre-K 2, is dressed like Little Red Riding Hood. (Image courtesy Windermere Private School)

She said parents and grandparents were invited to read their favourite stories online to the class. Debance-Misir also encouraged reading as a form of relaxation and as a break from the screen time.

“For our SEA class, it was important to encourage a break from work and a form of relaxation. Reading also helps creative writing skills, grammar, and vocabulary. This is an essential skill that is being lost from our young generations who are often caught up with online gaming and other electronic activities,” she added.

Zara Gobin of Windermere Private School is dressed like Nancy Drew. (Image courtesy Windermere Private School)

WORLD BOOK DAY was celebrated on March 4th and is aimed at celebrating the wonderful power of books and the joy of reading.  It also is meant to encourage a love of reading in children.