Literacy Programme for Children (Story L.A.B.)
About Story L.A.B.
The Story L.A.B. (Literacy Awareness Builders) sessions bring the experience of “bedtime stories” (shared bookreading) into the community so that the children, especially those from non-English speaking homes, can enjoy the experience and benefits.
Story L.A.B. runs weekly in community places bringing the shared bookreading experience right to the children. Volunteers read aloud to children in small groups. The small group interaction ensures the children are actively engaged with the text through simple discussions. The children also get to pick the books they like and enjoy as many stories as they wish read to them.
Why is there a need for such a service to read aloud to children?
Reading aloud to children is the single most important activity for reading success in children.
Children with poor literacy foundation lag behind their peers in print awareness, oral language skills as well as phonological awareness. Many of them start preschool lacking in reading readiness. Such children typically lack home support in language development. They are unlikely to have experienced stories read to them nor shown good models in reading. As a result, many struggle to develop reading proficiency and become reluctant readers.
Who will benefit from Story L.A.B.?
ALL children will benefit from the experience of being read aloud to. This experience is especially beneficial and critical to children from non-English speaking homes.
How does Story L.A.B. help the children?
The benefits that children can gain from listening to stories read to them are numerous:
- increase vocabulary
- develop oral skills
- sharpen observation skills
- enhance listening skills
- encourage positive social interaction
- lay the foundation for reading comprehension
- build reading readiness
More important than improving any specific literacy skills, reading aloud to children can promote a love for reading in the children.
What do people say about the Story L.A.B.?
Stephanie Siow, RI (Year 5) volunteer
…first of all, fulfilled the objectives of the programme, which included reading numerous books they would otherwise have not read. (The children)…learnt new words, saw new pictures and played with new pop-out things. Beyond that, they also learnt basic lessons in sharing books, listening to seniors and respecting the time allocated for the programme.
Cornelia Tisa, RI (Year 5) volunteer
This programme has reminded me of the simple joy and innocence the kids have towards listening to a new story, or even just looking in awe at the brightly-coloured pictures as they turn each page. There's always this anxiety about them, to want to know 'what happens next' and it certainly was very heartwarming to see them pick up some new words in the process.
Tan Yingxin, RI (Year 5) volunteer
Over the course of the program, I also saw Vyvy’s interest in reading grow. At the beginning, she was less than enthusiastic about reading, content to look at the pictures and quickly flip through the book to get to the end of the story without bothering about the words. However, over the weeks, I noticed that she grew to be more patient when reading the story, allowing me to finish reading the page before flipping to the next one. She also became more inquisitive, asking questions about the words as well as the pictures. Though her questions were difficult to answer at times, it was encouraging to know that she actually took an interest in the story and was thinking about it. Vyvy also gained confidence in her own reading, especially towards the end of the project, as she would ask to read the books on her own after I had read them to her.
Ma Taung, mother of 张凯杰 (Care Corner @ St George's)
我们是讲话语的家庭，所以这个课程（英文阅读）对 (我儿子) 英文提高有很大帮助。再此对Calvary Community Care 自愿者表示感谢！