Every child deserves the right to REACH the starting line and be given an opportunity to lead a better life.
REACH believes that the ability to read and the cultivation of a reading habit are essential to children’s academic and overall life-long development.
Unfortunately, many children from low socioeconomic status families lack exposure to proper reading and education resources in Hong Kong.
Children from these families are more susceptible to reading difficulties as they develop language skills more slowly, showing delayed abilities in letter recognition and phonological awareness.
These children are more likely to shy away from education as they get older, limiting their academic development and deterring them from socio-economic advancement.
Our mission is TO equip children from underserved families WITH the ability and motivation to read, as EVERY child deserves an opportunity to lead a better life.
Reading Ability: Before the age of 9, learners must master the ability to read in order to use reading to learn various subjects. However, research shows that over 60% of students require explicit reading instructions specifically on phonics, fluency, and comprehension in order to become proficient readers; and yet, primary schools in Hong Kong do not allocate enough time on these areas, nor do they have explicit curricula to help students master these skills. Many students rely on rote memorisation of English words to read and write, but as they progress to higher grade levels, they will struggle without a phonics foundation.
Reading Comprehension: If students do not have the ability to decode words, they will not be able to understand the meaning of the passage. Reading ability is only the first step in a learner’s reading journey. Ability must be paired with reading comprehension. For students to be able to learn English at school independently, they must be able to decode and recogise 98% of the words and understand 75% of their meaning in textbooks and lessons. Reading comprehension requires teaching of strategies and vocabulary knowledge. However, reading strategies are also rarely taught in schools.
Reading motivation: Intrinsic reading motivation is the self-driving fuel for a student to read with interest and read as a habit. This is necessary for the mastery of skill and transitioning students from “learning to read” to “reading to learn”: using reading as a gateway to knowledge.
Although Hong Kong’s education system is efficient and effective in its use of testing to maintain quality assurance, its price is creativity and individuality. Moreover, students do not have a chance to read for interest and develop a sense of ownership in reading and writing. As such, their incentive, interest and investment in school are usually extrinsically based on grades and scores.