Thursday October 3rd, 2019
Master Cheng Yen said, “To give is better than to receive.” There is no better way of showing gratitude but to give. In this spirit of giving, Tzu Chi Secondary School students, through the Student Council initiated a Book Drive within their last week of the first term. The book drive was held from September 24 to 25, 2019 in a hope to gather pristine used books for reading, such as literature, fiction, and non-fiction books for learning. Ms Amalia, Tzu Chi School Bahasa Indonesia teacher, who was also in charge of the Student Council, expressed her insights for book donations,“Donating book allows us to share the knowledge and experience that we’ve gained through those books to others, especially people who need them.”
During the two-day book drive, Tzu Chi Secondary School managed to collect over 600 books that would be given to students at Sekolah Cinta Kasih Tzu Chi Cengkareng. Darren Lee, the Head of Student Council from 11 Joy, thanked the effort from his fellow students and friends in school, “Those 600 books will be very useful for our friends in Sekolah Cinta Kasih. It will surely help them to study better, and have better reading materials, so thank you very much for those of you who donated.” Tzu Chi School hopes this effort can be done regularly, so that we can encourage students out of our school to read more.
Students these days are living in the era where the internet and technology has become so advanced, that it could provide us with access to information through audio and visual media, which resulted in less effort of learning. This also has made reading physical books have become less and less interesting. “Honestly speaking, even teachers in class show us Youtube videos. But even when we watch videos, we read too,” Darren added. While actually, reading activities also provide the opportunity to be more focused as an individual, and it allows our creative thinking process to be utilised more, as we picture the text we read in our head.
Ms Amalia also highlighted the importance of reading, “We need to encourage students to read more since kids these days have become visual learner, they like to watch videos, and listen to them which provide convenience when receiving information but this cause them to be lacking in their language skills. Most videos and other visual media are using daily language, instead of formal ones. Reading will allow children to enrich their vocabulary,” she said. With such a rich knowledge of vocabulary and sentences through reading, this could also enhance their writing skills.
The peak of the Reading Week was the ‘Trivia and Costume Day’ which allows students and teachers to dress up as book characters who they admire. This year’s theme was ‘The Importance of Reading’, hence, aside from dressing up, the day was filled with exciting activities such as debates between classes and poster-making. The final debate between representatives of Grades 7,8,9, 10, and 11 marked the peak of the day. The motion for the debate was ‘Education should focus on math and science rather than music and art’. The Affirmative Team are Sofia Daryono, 7 Joy; Euginia Ellendy, 10 Joy; and Melvin Nilson Tio, 11 Grateful. While Kasheen Darshan Kumar, 7 Kindness; Meghan Angeline Chan, 8 Love; Janice Augustine, 9 Joy represented the Opposition Team.
Meghan, whose team won the debate, summed up the importance of reading, said “It provides us with a better knowledge, enrich us with information, and I hope the children in Indonesia would read more books.”