Reading class is an activity primarily conducted by a person, the Book Fairy, specifically appointed to develop the reading skills of the corporation primary school children within the school hours in the school premise with the participation of the school teachers and the authorities.
Overall objective is to develop the reading skills and habits and to improve the learning abilities (reading, writing, listening, expression, vocabulary) of the children.
The specific objectives are:
Offer opportunities for personality development (imagination, talents, self confidence; good habits)
Arouse children interest in reading
Stimulate and motivate the children
Give a wide range of books and bring various reading aids
Provide interactive methodology and different ways of learning
Support corporation schools
Helping the children to read will make them more comfortable in their studies, therefore the final outcome should be to reduce stagnation or drop out rates.
While mainstreaming child labourers and drop outs to regular schools, Arunodhaya observed that the children faced difficulties in developing reading and writing skills. There was the need to provide support at this level so that the children continue their studies without dropping out. At this juncture, Asmae shared the concept of Reading class program being implemented in Pune with the support of Asmae. A team was deputed from Arunodhaya to visit the project and look into the possibility of its adaptation. From this emerged the Reading Class project launched in 2004 in three corporation schools.
Once the children went to Middle school they expressed the desire to gain access to reading books. In response to this the library project emerged wherein books are distributed to children.
Children mainstreamed to formal schools from Child Labour Centre. Children in the government schools between 1 and 5 standard level
Children in corporation schools develop an interest in reading and writing
Children develop creativity in writing stories and songs
There is a marked improvement in the attendance of children at school and their performance