Collaborative brainstorming at ‘Jeddah Reads’ Festival

Collaborative brainstorming at ‘Jeddah Reads’ Festival

festival

By Nisma Rafiq

Saudi Gazette

 

JEDDAH – Reading is important and considered to be the essential ingredient in becoming whole. It is fundamental to child’s growth and success as it develops the mind. Children learn to break down words into their most basic sounds in a process called decoding.
Later, they begin to comprehend the meaning of words, sentences and, ultimately, entire passages of text. However, reading without reflecting is eating without digesting. When a child cannot decode, it is just like reading a picture and not knowing what it means.
The 2nd annual festival of Jeddah Reads with the slogan ‘My Child Reads’ under the aegis of General Director of Education in Jeddah Ahmed Al Thukaffi, was inaugurated by Assistant Director of Administration for Educational Affairs Nour Baghadir in Dar-Al Hanan schools.
It started not just with the vision to reinforce information from the book, but to build real connection and understanding of the text. Encouraged and guided by the Director of Kindergarten Education Maha Al-Yawer, more than 700 schools participated in Jeddah Reads festival.
They displayed and shared teaching strategies, decoding techniques, phonics, and theater play, reading and improving skills in order to build a real connection that can enhance Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
“I attended the festival last year, but I am proud to have participated this year. I’ve met new people, and got to know new ideas. The beautiful collaboration between schools made the festival successful,” Nazeeha Ayad Aljadaani, head of kindergarten at Al Awael School said, while expressing her delight.
“Our school participated in two projects, Ibn Batuta and Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar, emphasizing the importance of selecting world-renowned books and characters for children to learn from.”
The school also displayed a strategy that is essential in helping children to read without effort as Academic Director Manal Zeineddine explained, “We always encourage mothers to choose books that meet their children’s level because when facing difficulty reading the first few pages, children might put the books aside and when this recurs, the love for reading, which is inborn in a child, might get stifled for future years to come.
“For this reason, it is essential that we reinforce ‘reading gain without reading pain’ and in kindergarten, this can be simply built through phonics skills, high-frequency words or sight words, and the first reading step all children are able to take, picture reading.
“Small, one-item pictures and illustrations can be the bridge that paves the way for a child to walk through a book, not only decoding words but with ease, enjoy the small trip that will become with the efforts of educators and parents, a life-long journey!”
The idea was to develop and keep the interest of the child from early age, to build a community with love for reading. It explored child’s skills and talents. Teachings aids, activities, workshops to help writers, readers and educational supervisors were conducted at the festival. The 3-day festival successfully ended with Nour Baghadir honoring the participants and the working committee.