REACH started its pilot REACH Reading Club programme with Lok Sin Tong Primary School in May 2014. Situated in Kowloon City, Lok Sin Tong Primary School was founded in 1949 by The Lok Sin Tong Benevolent Society, a charity group. For over 50 years, the school has maintained a reputation for education excellence. Its diverse student population has a high concentration of students matching REACH’s target students, e.g. those from families receiving social benefits or education subsidies from the government, and those who are new immigrants from China and Southeast Asia.
The REACH Reading Club in Lok Sin Tong Primary School runs as follows:
Story Telling Session
REACH runs school-wide storytelling sessions for around seventy-five Primary 1 – 3 students on a monthly basis.After the sessions, we donate numerous copies of the books that were read to each classroom. Students are encouraged to borrow and re-read these books after storytelling
Students are given incentives to re-read and complete the materials every month
Lok Sin Tong Primary School dedicates one lesson per month specifically for the reviewing of REACH material with students, allowing them the opportunity to evaluate what they have learnt
REACH Reading Ambassadors Programme
We provide weekly classes to twelve Primary 4 students appointed to be our REACH Reading Ambassadors. Every week, REACH teachers train the ambassadors using a set of materials centering on a popular children’s book and a curriculum that covers a range of language skills. These skills include reading comprehension strategies and practices; vocabulary building; grammar concepts and exercises; creative writing activity—all based on the chosen storybook. To track the students’ progress, assessments are given throughout the year to document their improvements.
The REACH Reading Ambassadors are given special status at school, acting as mentors to younger students. Their chief responsibility is to promote a reading culture on a peer-to-peer level.Their tasks include leading storytelling sessions during morning reading periods, as well as reading with younger students during recess.
Since the establishment of the REACH Reading Club in May 2014, teachers from Lok Sin Tong Primary School have noticed the following positive changes in students who have participated in the programme:
The students have become more confident in using and communicating in English during English classes at school.
They have also shown growing interest in reading during recess time
“Since the launch of Reach’s Reading Club and storytelling sessions, I’ve noticed significant improvements in my P1-P3 students’ reading interests. Our students have more opportunities to communicate in English through the storytelling sessions, so they are now much more proactive and confident in communicating and answering questions in English in front of a large crowd. Moreover, the encouragement and recognition the REACH Reading Ambassadors have received through REACH has really inspired them to take initiative in reading English books and setting good examples for the younger students. There is no doubt that a reading culture is being fostered in school, where groups of students are now reading together during recess time.”
Mr. Freddy Lai, English Panel Chairperson, Lok Sin Tong Primary School
Additionally, the progress made by the REACH Reading Ambassadors was measured after attending our weekly classes (of our micro programme) for three months. Based on the results of our language assessments on areas ranging from grammar to reading comprehension, 90% of the students showed an improvement in their scores between the first and second assessment. This promising figure reappears in the third assessment of the year, in which 90% of the students once again showed improvement from their last assessment. The results also reveal a steady increase of passing students between assessments. The graph below depicts the growing number of passes as the programme progresses:
By the end of the year, we expect the REACH Reading Club to have successfully established a strong reading culture within the school, whereupon students will:
discover the joy for reading and take initiative in exploring different books of different genres
continue to improve their English proficiency through the completion of REACH’s curriculum and activities
adapt and apply their gained reading and language skills to everyday scenarios, ultimately broadening their opportunities in life
continue to inspire and motivate others by imparting their knowledge to their peers