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Zara Gobin of Windermere Private School is dressed like Nancy Drew

COVID-19 has allowed students more reading time so some schools are offering opportunities and incentives for reading.

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.

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 programmes. 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.

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 book stores.

“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.

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, this 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.

World Book Day was celebrated on March 4 and is aimed at celebrating the wonderful power of books and the joy of reading.

It is also meant to encourage a love of reading in children.