Innovations in Reading

February 15, 2010 at 9:59 am 16 comments

Every year, the National Book Foundation in the US awards prizes up to $2,500 to individuals or organizations who have created innovations in recreational reading, with the goal being to cultivate lifelong readers. Last year’s recipients included:

  1. a program to encourage fathers to read to their children,
  2. a public library changing its atmosphere to feel more like a bookshop (including Dewey-less categorization on the shelves),
  3. a website that inculcates reading through family participation,
  4. a teen literacy program aimed at girls, and
  5. a teacher who suffuses his classroom with a sustained love for reading.

We have some ideas within the Recreational Reading Program at HCI to help encourage a lifelong passion for reading and books, but we’d like to hear from you too. What could we do to foster a love of reading in the students?


Entry filed under: Recreational Reading.

New Arrivals: January 2010 Do School Libraries Need Books?

16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kean Patrick Murphy  |  February 20, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    I feel a few LA classes should be dedicated to reading and explaining some books, and these books should be newer books that us boys can connect to and are interested in, like the Percy Jackson series. By reading them, students will enjoy these kind of books and have a love of books.

    • 2. Hon  |  February 21, 2010 at 3:53 pm

      Good idea, pls suggest to your LA teacher.


      • 3. Jason Erik Lundberg  |  February 21, 2010 at 5:35 pm

        I actually am Kean’s LA teacher, Dr Hon. 🙂 And I’ve been duly noted.

    • 4. Jason Erik Lundberg  |  February 21, 2010 at 5:37 pm

      It’s a good idea, Kean. I’m planning to do something similar with The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman in Term 2.

      Although I strongly recommend that you do a write-up of the Percy Jackson books on your blog, and then present it to the class; I’m happy to give you class time to do so.

  • 5. Wong Jin Fu Shaun  |  February 21, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    I have concluded this after seeking the opinions of many other students and myself. After observing for some time too, I found out something about students and reading.

    Many students such as me now have access to many books, through libraries and the internet. I have realised that after I read a certain book, it stays in my head and I tend to reflect on the entire story as I go about doing other things. When I am in class and when a certain topic being raised up in class is related to this book, a whole lot of ideas fill my head.

    What I am trying to say here is that the teacher should do a survey on the recent books that have been read by the students and give them assignments based on that. For exampl if many of the students have read books about family issues, then the teacher could give a composition with the title “I should have never done this”.

    In this way, students can connect their ideas better and all in all, produce a better result.

    • 6. Jason Erik Lundberg  |  February 22, 2010 at 8:12 am

      This is a good idea, Shaun. It’s why I initially surveyed the class about what books you all have read. There is some difficulty in that teachers and students are generationally separated, and that we probably have not read a lot of the books that interest you the students right now; this makes it more challenging to offer assignments based on themes the have come across in your reading, but not prohibitively so.

      You’ve given me a lot to think about.

  • 7. Lee Zhe Xuan Etienne  |  February 21, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    Perrhaps HCI can consider having a secured website ( oer online/electronic library) where the students can acess to. The website will have a variety of online / electronic books. In this way students are able to access the books in a hassle free manner.

    We can also have class library corners. Students can donate story books to the library corners. They can borrow story books to read on Fridays during reading periods and read them at home too.

    • 8. Jason Erik Lundberg  |  February 22, 2010 at 8:17 am

      The website idea is a good one, Etienne, and I may bring this up with the administration; we had something very similar when I was at university, for short stories and novel extracts. I do know that it’s more difficult to license an entire book, as eBook rights are a heated topic right now, but it’s worth considering.

      As for library corners in the classrooms, this idea was broached last year by Mr Spelmer, but it was determined to be logistically unfeasible.

  • 9. deckard  |  February 22, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Perhaps the US National Book Foundation innovative programme could serve as a model in Singapore to instill a love of reading. I don’t know if there are currently any such local incentives but a letter of enquiry to the MOE might be a starting point.

    • 10. Jason Erik Lundberg  |  February 22, 2010 at 8:08 am

      I don’t know that there are incentive programs such as this in Singapore; it seems to be a top-down approach, as the National Book Development Council is the only organization I know of that actively promotes reading here. Although I could be horribly ignorant on the subject.

      But yes, a letter about this would certainly seem to be in order. 🙂

  • 11. Chua Wei Jian  |  February 23, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Maybe our teacher could tell us to do some book reviews on any interesting books (whether for ACE points or not). We could take turns to go up to present our book reviews. Some students would be interested to read the book after the presenter had summarised and talk more about the book. We could also state where to find the books or maybe even lend our books to our friends who are interested to read. Like this, students can read and we can easily find the book we would be looking for.

    • 12. Jason Erik Lundberg  |  February 24, 2010 at 8:47 pm

      Hmm, where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, I suggested it in class!

  • 13. Andre Lam  |  February 24, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Hmm..maybe if it is logistically unfeasible to build a library corner, then why not we have a ‘mini’ corner where students can donate/put up for rent at the back of the class? That way, at least students can also read some books that their friends like, hence allowing them to know what kind of books their fellow classmates like, and can also allow them to find out which of their classmates enjoy reading the same genre of books as they do.

    • 14. Jason Erik Lundberg  |  February 24, 2010 at 8:49 pm

      This is worth thinking about, Andre. I admit that I like this idea, and it might go over better; I’ll try pitching it to Dr Hon.

  • 15. Andre Lam  |  February 24, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    By the way, is the movie ‘Sicko’ available for rental in the Kong Chian Library? Thanks!

    • 16. Jason Erik Lundberg  |  February 24, 2010 at 8:52 pm

      Since it was reviewed on the Library website back in December, I assume that it’s available for loan. Although the best way to check is to ask Ms Koo at the circulation desk.

      It’s a fascinating and heartbreaking documentary, definitely Moore’s best, and I highly recommend it. The broken health care system in the US is the big reason why my wife and I decided to move to Singapore.


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Library Club Leadership

Teachers In-Charge:
Mrs Rosalind Lee (SC)
Mdm Chan May Lun
Mdm Shieh Le-shiang
Mrs Kris Koo (Senior AO)
Mrs Wang Meng Juan (AO)

2011-12 ExCo:
Foo Yang Yi (Chairman)
Kervin Tay (Vice-Chairman)
Ian Wong (Training & Recruitment)
Zach Wang (Public Relations)
Joel Lee (Welfare)

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