READING FOR CHILDREN
Stop and imagine, for a moment, how your life would be different if you were not able to read... Over the past three decades Bangladesh has undertaken numerous official literacy initiatives, but none of them met with enduring success because there was no application for the participants' acquired literacy.
A new project entitled 'Reading for Children', piloted by Save the Children Federation Inc. in 2001, breaks the mold by solving this problem.
Over a period of six months, women in rural Bangladesh were provided with illustrated storybooks, which they first practiced reading and then read aloud to their children. This initiative consolidated the women's literacy, while at the same time establishing a strong foundation for their children's reading habits. This film, shot in March of 2002 in the region of Nasirnagar, offers a rare glimpse into the lives of two adult women in rural Bangladesh who participated in this program.
In July 2007 we returned to Nasirnagar and were delighted to see that Reading for Children is still going strong !
Thanks to Save the Children we had the opportunity to attend one of the reading circles, which is held at a local pre-school and involves some twenty children and their mothers. We were very warmly received, and the women essentially reiterated what the interviewees in our video had said five years ago: literacy is crucial, and Reading for Children is a very important program that deserves our full support.
We also had a joyful reunion with the cast of the Reading for Children video, in particular the original instructor for the program and two now-former students. It was wonderful to see them all again ! The eldest daughter of one of these former students is now in charge of managing the mobile library containing the storybooks used at the reading circles.