Fun for All at YCIS Shanghai Book Weeks
Parenting experts and academic studies alike confirm that helping children develop a passion for reading from a young age has significant positive effects and life-long benefits, including improved cognitive, social and emotional, concentration, communication, and linguistic skills, as well as stimulating creativity and imagination, and developing overall literacy. As part of the everyday experience for children at YCIS Shanghai, the school’s curriculum and teachers are catalysts for helping children see and experience reading as one of life’s great joys.
During the recent ‘Book Week’ at YCIS Pudong and the ‘Celebrating Stories’ events at YCIS Puxi, Early Childhood Education (ECE) and Primary students enjoyed a wide range of exciting literacy-related events, presentations, and activities. This included meeting and spending time with visiting children’s book author Ms Julia Cook at YCIS Pudong and storytellers Mr Usifu Jalloh and Ms Jan Latta at YCIS Puxi.
An expert in the area of developing and nurturing a positive and healthy mindset, Ms Cook is the recipient of many book awards, the 2019 Teacher’s Choice Award; the Association of Educational Publisher’s Distinguished Achievement Award; the National Parenting Seal of Approval; and the Mom’s Choice Award.
The slogan of this year’s YCIS Pudong ‘Book Week’, “Keep Calm & Stay Reading,” reflected the positive message Ms Cook aims to convey with her writing, and, throughout the week she shared the important and inspiring metaphorical messages of her books to students from Kindergarten (K4) through Year 11.
Across the river at YCIS Puxi, Sierra Leonean storyteller Mr Jalloh – a performer and educator recently featured on the BBC – captivated YCIS Puxi Primary students with his interactive stories and knowledge of African oral traditions and the art of storytelling.
Later at YCIS Puxi Primary, Australian wildlife photographer Ms Latta engaged the children with stories of travelling through Africa and Asia, living in a tent, and interacting with and photographing endangered animals.
Beyond their time with the esteemed author and storytellers, the children participated in a diverse array of fun and interesting activities, such as:
"Buddy Reading” Sessions
Drop Everything and Read (DEAR)
At YCIS Pudong, children from Kindergarten (K2) through Year 6 enjoyed wearing their pyjamas to school for the day during ‘DEAR’ Day, when they had the chance to take a break from normal classroom activities and cosy up to hear and read some great stories and books. Similarly, YCIS Puxi Primary students took part in DEAR activities and showed off their cosiest sleepwear in the Whole-School Pyjama Day, which even included servings of delicious hot chocolate!
Week-Long Book Fairs on Campus
Children and parents from both YCIS Pudong and YCIS Puxi had the unique opportunity to augment their home libraries with a huge selection of English and Chinese titles available for purchase on the campuses, both during and after school hours.
As is tradition, on the final day of this wonderful week, children in ECE and Primary at YCIS Pudong and Primary at YCIS Puxi had the opportunity to come to school dressed as their favourite book character, embodying the fun and joy of reading.
And it wasn’t just the students who were involved in the reading and book-themed activities. At YCIS Pudong, there were parent and teacher sessions on topics such as ‘fostering motivation and perseverance in children’ and ‘online safety’, among others. In addition, YCIS Pudong’s school counsellors and learning support teachers also benefitted from Ms Cook’s vast knowledge, during sessions organised for faculty members. At YCIS Puxi, Upper Primary Coordinator Ms Julia Kortt led an insightful ‘Reading for Years 4, 5, and 6’ workshop session for parents.
Literacy is a key focus within the ECE and Primary programmes at YCIS, and special events such as these Book Weeks help generate a veritable buzz and excitement surrounding reading of all types. By igniting a passion for reading from a young age, a strong foundation is set for a child’s future learning throughout their life. Put eloquently by the great children’s book author, Dr Theodor ‘Dr Seuss’ Geisel, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”