Peer Support to Expand Child-friendly Libraries Motivates Teaches and Students!

by Nguyen Thi Hai Yen, CWS Program Officer | July 22, 2018

Students celebrate books! Photo: CWS

Young readers learning to love books. Photo: CWS

Duong Duc Trung is Head Teacher at Muong Kim #2 primary school in Than Uyen district, and he recently joined CWS-organized child-friendly school library training course I led. During one break time, he told me that during 10 years of teaching and leading schools, this is the first time he has worked in a school with library and his first chance to learning about a child-friendly library model.

To expand and build on the success of child-friendly libraries as supported by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American in year four of the NEW IDEA project, the workshop Teacher Trung joined was led by two teachers from another CWS partner school. With their experience, it was clear that peer leadership of training activities would help extend the project’s impact not just this time but into the future with more empowered local library experts.

One key part of the training workshop was about organizing a school Reading Festival with student participation. This is a challenging new idea for the new schools’ teachers and for ones CWS has worked with through the years because it is still difficult to organize reading activities for early and later grades in ways that are fun and interesting for all ages. To work on this challenge, Trung’s school was the site of a Reading Festival as a part of the training for all teachers’ learning and practice. Trung shared that he was rather nervous and not confident since everything was new to him and all Muong Kim #2 primary school teachers. But, support from the guest facilitators as well as his teachers’ commitment, their first-ever reading day was successfully organized.

Nearly 300 students, both girls and boys, joined in all activities: introducing new books and reading them, plus painting, quizzes and games. Many parents came to the school too, and some even made up a team to compete with the teacher team in a traditional game making it a truly festive day. Sharing the happiness all teachers and students during a review of the day, all participants appreciated hands-on training and practical training which, above all, is motivating all the teachers to create child-friendly libraries and Reading Festivals in their own schools.

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