‘Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.’; ‘Books are our best friends.’ – We have heard these quotes many times in our life. Helping a child to develop a love for reading in this era of electronic gadgets, though challenging, is very important and essential. Many of us are moving away from reading traditional books to e-books or Kindle E-reader due to various reasons. I think it is time for a deliberate reversal so that our children would rather start loving reading physical books. If children develop a love for reading at their young age, it remains with them for a lifetime and, for sure, they will pass the same to their children, thus to generations!

Why is it so important to inspire children to read? Because reading is an exercise to mind which helps them develop imagination and thinking skills. It is one such habit which enhances their concentration, changes their thought-processes and perspectives. Besides, it liberates them; enables them to become open-minded to accept the world as it is and things, people as they are, along with their beliefs, cultures and values.

A book is a wonderland!  In this regard, Dr. Seuss quote is one of my favourites: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn the more places you’ll go.”  A book in our hands can take us to a different world, a distant land and it introduces us to characters that are similar or much like us or people who are different from us.

More than this, books are the best sources of information, the knowledge we get out of reading carve us into matured minds who are sensitive to others’ feelings and emotions at the same time decisive – who can  take important decisions and make wise choices in life. And most importantly take ownership of the same. Finally, different plots, settings and characters in storybooks trigger creativity and imagination – we become both imaginative and creative by reading.

It is my pride to state that this year, The Gaudium, my school has taken an initiative to celebrate ‘World Literacy Day’ on 6 September 2019 through the event, D.E.A.R. Time which was organized for the staff and students of the school. As we understand the importance of reading and promote the same, our administration team also joined us in the D.E.A.R. Time. Right from the Director of the school, Mrs Kirthi Reddy to the geckos of Nursery, everyone present in the school did drop everything and read for one hour!

Each one of us enjoyed reading the book of our choice – picture books, a variety of genres – non-fiction; fiction; magazines; newspapers, etc. The geckos were happy and excited during the D.E.A.R. Time when they sat with their teachers and classmates and read together. As we have a huge campus, the geckos and teachers easily could find a suitable place for the class to sit and read.  It was indeed a great feeling to see the entire school community reading together!

As truly said by George R.R. Martin, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one”.

Kudos to the geckos! Keep reading; keep growing!

Some highlights: