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Eastern Star bilingual school pushes benefits of reading

Eastern Star, a private bilingual school in Vientiane, is going all out to foster a love of reading among students, encouraging them to realise the importance of reading and to develop their skills.

Head of the Math Department at Eastern Star Bilingual School, Mr Ike Goldberg, said “We want to let everyone know that our students are enjoying a new reading programme initiative.”

Students at Eastern Star school read books near the Patuxay monument.

“This was something that required the complete support of the teachers involved, the principal, and parents. As a school, we aim to reach each and every student to improve their learning,” he said.

Unfortunately, every school has students who are low-achieving in reading. This academic year, the school administration has decided to place more emphasis on low-achieving students so that they meet minimum academic standards. In order to identify low-achievers, the Cambridge benchmark test was given to students to determine their ability.

Mr Goldberg said “Our school Professional Learning Community has discussed all the important factors that cause some students to have low reading achievement. The first attempt taken by the administration was to organise a three-week book fair which involved students in a school and at-home reading programme. Apparently, all students have a fun time reading and expressing themselves while sharing reading book stories during their reading hour.”

Each class has its own library. In order to get a new book from their class library, children must first finish a book and write a summary of its contents. The teachers' room bulletin board is now full of their beautiful summary papers. Some of the students even drew characters from the books they read.

“We have had much success with the programme, and we have even extended it to grades beyond 6-12 which were the initially targeted grades. It now goes into primary school and high school students,” Mr Goldberg said.

Students will be benchmarked three times a year and their progress shared with parents and students in order to make a new goal for every student.

“We would like to have all our students on their grade reading level. We cannot be more proud of our students that they increase their reading hours in school and at home. We appreciate that all of the teachers and assistants in these grades have worked diligently to implement this reading programme, as well as language and math, into their hectic schedules. Ahmet Pektas, the Eastern Star School Nongbone principal, has been instrumental in providing the necessary support for these teachers,” he added.

After seeing the success of the reading programme and the students' progress, we decided to have our students go out to public places to read books in order to create a reading awareness in Vientiane, Mr Goldberg said.

So 20 students and their teacher Mr Goldberg went to Patuxay during their reading hour. They sat on the ground and read their books peacefully. Lots of people took pictures with them and said how much they appreciated this astonishing event.

Source Eastern Star Bilingual School in Vientia ne

By Features Desk
(Latest Update February 3, 2017 )

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