Bringing Reading to Children in Remote Areas
Library of Love at Xincen Primary School in Jiayi County Launched
Mobile libraries have been planned and introduced to provide primary school students of remote areas with an opportunity to borrow books. At the beginning of the new school year, Xincen Primary School in Budai, Jiayi County set up a Library of Love. The library was unveiled on Friday, September 22, 2006. The library was made possible by MOE's Focus 300 - Plan to Promote Primary School Children's Reading Habits, Jiayi County Government's Plan to Promote Reading Habits in Primary, Junior High Schools, and Nantou County 's Reading Society. The 921 Earthquake Relief Foundation and other organizations donated funds for the purchase of books, equipment, and recruitment of manpower. Many school teachers and volunteers have been recruited to help promote reading habits among children of remote areas.
The Library of Love was mainly established by the Nantou County Reading Society ( Chinese website:http://www.twnread.org.tw/ ) with funds donated by the 921 Earthquake Relief Foundation. This year, with funds from MOE Focus 300 - Plan to Promote Primary Schoolchildren's Reading Habits for the purpose of funding counties / cities to establish organizations to promote reading habits, a new mobile library has been established at Xincen Primary School in Jiayi County . So far, 47 libraries have been established in 11 counties / cities across the country with over 150,000 books available for borrowing. Most of the staff members of the libraries are volunteers. The launch of the Library of Love at Xincen Primary School in Jiayi County will allow teachers and students of primary schools in Jiayi County (including 9 focus schools) to borrow books.
MOE has been promoting reading habits among children for many years. In particular, from 2005, Focus 300 - Plan to Promote Primary Schoolchildren's Reading Habit was introduced to 300 schools lacking cultural resources as prime targets. This is the second year since the four-year-long (2005-2008) Focus 300 - Plan to Promote Primary Schoolchildren's Reading Habits was launched. Last year (2005), with the implementation of various measures aimed at the promotion of reading habits amongst children, obvious results in terms of cultivating reading habits amongst children in remote areas. Care and concern from all circles of society have been put into the promotion of reading habits amongst children. Books are essential to the success of promoting reading habits. In view of this, MOE in 2005 spent over $15 million purchasing children's books and allocating them to 25 counties/cities adopting mobile library planning across the nation in an effort to circulate books and give every primary school student the opportunity to read books of fine quality.
Promoting reading habits among children is an activity that consolidates resources from different circles. It particularly requires cooperation between the public and private sectors if it is to have concrete, lasting effects. Reinforcing reading habits among children of remote areas will give them the same opportunities as urban children enjoy in terms of reading and nurturing their independent thinking abilities. Let us applaud those who are willing to contribute to promoting reading habits among children and hope that the seeds of their work will come into full fruition in the future.
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