Mohona, the Book Captain

Thursday 12 April 2018

Mohona, a grade 3 student, became Book Captain one year ago. Initially, she was a bit afraid and not sure about her role as a book captain. Distribution and collection of story books among 30 to 40 students were not an easy task. Day by day she started enjoying when she found opportunities to read many great stories.

Now, she is a popular book captain in Muhuripara government primary School, Cox’s bazar. She plays a key role in distributing, collecting, and using storybooks among her fellows. Every student in her class listens to her. Each week, she distributes story books and takes back the previously distributed books. She counts incoming and outgoing books while maintaining a book registrar. At a book stand, the books are arranged according to student’s reading capability. The bookstand is kept in a place popularly known as Reading Corner.

“At beginning, I used to read 2 to 3 books in a cycle. I wanted to read more storybooks. I started taking the books home. When I got leisure, I read storybooks”. Said Mohona while discussing about her storybook reading habits. She also mentioned that she never leave a book unread what she took a book home.

After finishing each story, she discusses what she learned with her mother Farida Shirin. Farida shared “While reading storybooks, Mohona sometimes asks me what if the story would have been different! Each day she comes to me with some new words she learned from the story. I feel amazed when I see her reading fluency improves to a significant level.”

Her teachers appreciate her regularity in the classes. She has been recognized by her teachers as one of the most regular students. Mohona said she did not want to miss school because she wants to grasp every new learning from the book.

In addition to being a good book captain, Mohona is also a good student. She stood first in her class. “I think, reading storybooks helps to grow her learning interest which helped her securing good marks at the exam.” -Hosneara Begum, the Head teacher of the school said.

Research reveals that there is often multiple levels of student comprehension in a single grade. For example, some grade 1 students cannot read all the letters, whereas some students can read letters but not the text. As a result, USAID’s Reading Enhancement for Advancing Development (READ) Activity introduced appropriate leveled supplementary reading materials (SRM), which are designed at varying levels of reading competency, from beginning to emergent reader.

There is not enough school contact hour for students to practice reading and teachers to support all students at staggered reading levels. READ supplies leveled SRM to develop all students’ reading skills, regardless of competency level. Leveled SRM create opportunities for out of school reading practice and cultivate an enjoyable reading habit for all students.

USAID’s READ Activity provided 124 SRM to every school covered by the project. Students at READ schools play a key role in distributing, collecting, and using these materials as book captains. Children can read books at school and borrow books to read at home.

Under the activity, National Curriculum and Text Book Board (NCTB) has approved 155 leveled SRM titles. READ has supplied nearly 1 million books for 5,112 schools. A number of 2 book stands were provided in all schools as well.