SINGAPORE: Seven primary and secondary schools were recognised for their efforts in creating programmes to motivate their students to read more on Monday (Mar 20).
The inaugural Reading Excellence Awards - a collaboration between the National Library Board (NLB) and the Ministry of Education (MOE) - received 61 nominations for school reading programmes ranging from interactive storytelling to animation development. The programmes were judged on their sustainability, impact on students and innovation.
Princess Elizabeth Primary School and Clementi Town Secondary School won the top awards in the primary school and secondary school categories respectively, taking home S$10,000 each for their efforts.
Princess Elizabeth Primary School's Characters Alive Day, implemented last year for Primary 1 to Primary 4 students, saw both teachers and students dressing up as book characters to spark conversations about the characters from various books. Students gave good feedback about the event and the school plans to roll it out to all levels this year, it said.
Meanwhile, Clementi Town Secondary school implemented a structured and supervised time slot for its students to promote reading. Students get to choose their own reading materials - be it newspapers, books or comics - and read for 15 minutes every morning.
Qifa Primary School received the crowd favourite award for its reading programmes, while Mee Toh School, Xinghua Primary School, Bukit Merah Secondary School and Edgefield Secondary School also picked up prizes.
Speaking at the ceremony, Minister of State for Education Janil Puthucheary said it is important for teachers to come up with innovative ways to engage students and motivate them to read.
"The nature of what we read and how we learn has changed," said Dr Puthucheary, referring to ebooks and online reading materials. "But as long as you are learning and reading, it's not a bad thing. There will be many different ways of engaging students."
The awards will be held once every three years.