Kids Read, the HSBC Bank Egypt and British Council regional reading programme for government primary school children, is launching its third consecutive year with many new participating schools. The opening ceremony for this season’s programme was held on 18 November at the British Council in Heliopolis and attended by Dr Samira Bakr, English Language Teaching Counsellor, Ministry of Education and English language teachers from the 18 participating schools; and a class of children.
The programme receives complete support from HSBC Bank Egypt, which also dedicates staff volunteers to facilitate the smooth running of the initiative. Andrew Long, Deputy Chairman and CEO of HSBC Bank Egypt, said that “We believe that building a community with informed citizens begins with fostering a love for education, reading and creativity among the people especially the young generation, and that’s the main aim of our participation in Kids Read programme. HSBC Bank Egypt employees have a strong belief in the important role they play as volunteers in Kids Read programme, and how their participation will help deliver the message of the importance of reading to the Egyptian community.”
As well as inaugurating Kids Read for this academic year, the opening ceremony featured a live storytelling session which engaged the children and audience with lively and charismatic storytelling through a select number of books from the Kids Read collection. The English language teachers also benefited from the demonstration of storytelling and reading and writing strategies through an arranged series of teacher training workshops organized for Kids Read participating school teachers.
Mark Stephens, Director British Council Egypt, said “We are pleased that Kids Read is back for another season. Unfortunately, reading for pleasure is turning into a lost art due to children perceiving reading as being for academic purposes only and, of course, their preference to spend their free time watching TV or playing computer games. Research shows that kids who read consistently perform better academically. With Kids Read we hope to encourage children and their families to develop their love of reading to help secure a bright future”.
Kids Read, which is sponsored exclusively by HSBC and developed by the British Council, has reached over 35000 children in the GCC region in the past two years. The programme encourages children to adopt reading as a leisure activity, both inside and outside their classrooms, and aims to work with as many teachers and children in schools through the programme.
The programme works through the distribution of engaging and colourful books from the UK, as well as lesson plans, resources and training for the teachers. Competitions and four community events per year for the general public are also part of the Kids Read initiative, which adds six new schools each year. The community events are family-oriented and include storytelling for the children, delivered by trained HSBC staff volunteers, arts and crafts activities as well as competitions and workshops for parents.
Kids Read received a Silver Stevie Award in 2012 and over 3000 children in Egypt have already benefited from the programme.
For further information please contact:
Rose marie Gad, Communication Manager, British Council Egypt
Tel: +(202) 3300 1851
About Kids Read
Kids Read, an exciting reading initiative, developed by the British Council and sponsored exclusively by HSBC Bank Middle East Limited and affiliates, aims to encourage reading for pleasure both inside and outside the classroom among primary school children in the MENA region. Through the joint efforts of the Ministries of Education, HSBC and the British Council, the Kids Read program hopes to reach 25,000 children across 13 countries in the MENA region over 1 academic year.
About HSBC in the Community
At HSBC, the principles of sustainability are core to our business. HSBC supports individuals and organisations in achieving their goals as they relate to education and the environment. HSBC places great emphasis on employee volunteering. In 2010, the HSBC Group committed nearly US$108 million to community investment in 87 countries and territories around the world, while HSBC employees volunteered over 320,000 work hours in support of these activities.