Shramakalyan Pathagar supports local initiatives along with boosting reading
Shramakalyan Pathagar, a local library in Nilphamari district serves diversified ranges of people in the region. Some enthusiastic youths from Purbo Doliram (Borobari) union of Kishoreganj upazila under Nilphamari district established the library in 2010. READ selected it for it library program in 2015. Since then the program built the capacity of the librarians and established a room for reading. It also provided 6 tablet devices for increasing the reading interest among the early graders.
“The tablet devices we received from READ are also used as an information hub for the community people. Students find their SSC and HSC results here. Farmers come here to know agricultural information”. Said Mukti Akter, one of the initiators of the library.
The library arranges Community Reading Camp (CRC) with the early graders. It is playing a pivotal role increasing the reading capacity of the grade 1-3 students. The early graders who come here, finds reading very entertaining. Various games and tools help the early graders to improve their reading capacity. It is a community-based opportunity to practice learning in an out-of-school setting.
“We arrange reading festivals with the children. It encourages them to build reading habit.” Zakir Hossain, another member thus reflected on reading festival arranged by READ program. Cultural programs, sports and drawing competitions are organized to foster reading habit among the children. The library also arranges parent’s awareness session so that parents intensively support reading activities of their children.
“In the parent’s awareness session, parents come to know how they can support their children to grow reading interest. Suppose, before go to bed, they interact with their children on their daily reading topics.” Said Rakib, a member of the library.
The library already created a social movement in the locality. It supports initiatives of local government. “Besides creating reading habit, we also do a lot of social activities. We stopped 18 child marriages, installed tube-wells and toilets and stopped gambling in our community”- Said Mukti Akter. We hope to see our community as a model to others, she added.
Save the Children and IREX have been working together to help a total of 20 libraries support the USAID-funded READ program. Shramakalyan Pathagar is one of those libraries and the Beyond Access Bangladesh initiative aims to make use of the country’s existing libraries to create opportunities for children and their families to gain access to more reading materials and begin to associate reading with enjoyment.