Monday October 21st, 2019
Father’s love is like the morning sun:shining brightly on the family and filling the children with love - Jing Si Aphorism by Master Cheng Yen
‘Papa, please get the moon for me’ is a book by Eric Carle, depicting a story about a little girl named Monica who asks her father to get the moon for her to play with. Ms Leong Joycelyn read out this book in class before our N2 Love students. The beautiful illustrations managed to catch children’s attention and establish an interactive reading for the kids. The book was chosen since it wasn't only a means of literature but also a way of teaching children parents’ infinite love. This storytelling was one out of many fun activities done by Tzu Chi Early Childhood school to celebrate Literacy Day on September 17, 2019.
A walk around the school that day will be greeted with classrooms full of joy and excitement from the children, as they sat together over the tales told by parents and teachers. Ms Joycelyn, whose son is also a student in N2 Love, highlighted the importance of storytelling activities in school. ‘This is my first time as storyteller here but I used to work in an early childhood school before, and storytelling is important because it will open up children’s imagination. As an example, we wouldn’t think that we can reach the moon, but with this book, younger kids would think “everything is possible” if you give it a try.’
Aside from opening up their imagination, storytelling also assist students to read the alphabet, recognise words and sentences, ‘When they focus at the book, this could help to calm them down in class,’ she added.
Mr Dustin Nowaselski, Tzu Chi Early Childhood English teacher, who also did storytelling in other classes said, ‘Children can’t sit and listen for a long time. Big, colourful, and illustrative books are interesting for them. It is also important to create an engaging reading activities that ensure children’s involvement.’
Enhance Both Children’s Literacy and Family Relationship
Among the activities for the Literacy Day includes coloring, painting, singing, and games to help children recognise Latin alphabets as well as basic Chinese characters. Other efforts done by the school in enhancing children's literacy in day to day classes, is to let students take books home and read them with their parents. Ms Joycelyn expressed her gratitude towards this initiative, ‘Your school has done quite a good job in incorporating literacy into the class, my child bring home books to read two days a week, which I think is very good to cultivate their reading skills. I am also grateful since it is also a great way to spend quality time with the kids.’
Incorporating reading activities as homework also instill discipline in children to actually doing it, ‘If we (parents) ask them to read, they wouldn’t really sit down but if this is a part of the school work, they are happy to do it,’ she added.
During the Literacy Day celebration, Tzu Chi Early Childhood students also used this opportunity to pour out their bamboo banks. The spirit of doing good deeds through this small gesture, when done collectively, is hoped to put together a big help for others. One of the help, among others, is to provide education service for children which will also help in enhancing their literacy.