Young bookworms provide 'gift of learning'

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 May, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 29 May, 2009, 12:00am

Pupils at Canadian International School have demonstrated their bookworm power by raising more than HK$440,000 to boost child literacy in Bangladesh.

About 750 lower school pupils devoured more than 10,000 books in a four-week read-a-thon that was part of the Aberdeen school's Spring into Reading programme in March.

The children, aged three to 12, were sponsored by parents, siblings, friends and the wider community for the number of books they read or hours they spent reading, with one girl raising as much as HK$17,000.

Grade Four pupil Sabrina Roberts, 10, said: 'I read more than 25 books including The Naughtiest Girl series, Indie Kidd, and Roald Dahl's The Witches and Magic Fingers. I read for at least one hour a day and I raised HK$1,000. I think if I can read then other children should also have the chance to read and learn.'

Isabelle Elder, eight, said: 'I collected money at 5 cents a minute or by single donation. But I am a real bookworm so only one person sponsored me by the minute. I read for more than 40 hours and made HK$4,600.'

Lower school vice-principal Dean Croy said: 'It is an extremely meaningful exercise. By sitting at home and reading a book they are providing the gift of learning to another child who does not have access to it at the moment.

'The response was overwhelming. I think the children understand the relationship between having books and the ability to have an education and succeed in this world we live in.

'The sheer number of students that have raised more than HK$5,000 demonstrates that the whole school community have also taken hold of this annual read-a-thon and made it their own.'

The month also included a reading by children's author Sarah Brennan, a book fair, a book swap, a day when students could dress as their favourite fictional character and a book review contest.