Some 70 pre-school and primary-aged kids had the rare opportunity of watching WOU Vice Chancellor Tan Sri Emeritus Prof Gajaraj Dhanarajan turn story-teller for a day for the Read for the Record activity held at the main campus on October 8th.
He read the book, ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle, with accompanying expressive gestures to really connect and interact with his young audience. The kids peppered him with questions and remarks as he read to prolong his story-reading session to 10 minutes.
On behalf of The Learning Garden, he later presented five stacks of books to a representative from the Penang Education Consultative Council (PECC) to be handed over to the Valdor Estate Tamil Kindergarten children.
This was followed by a video screening of the book about the hungry caterpillar with an enormous appetite. Tan Sri Raj gamely joined the kids to sit on the floor and enjoy the clip, together with the parents and the media.
The kids, mostly in the 3-7 years age group, then took part in an arts and craft activity conducted by The Learning Garden to make a crawling green caterpillar on a twig-like stick.
The Read for the Record event at WOU was organised by the early children education centre The Learning Garden, the sole licensee of the FasTracKids programme in Penang. FasTracKids International was officially approved as a participating organisation in Jumpstart’s fourth annual Read for the Record campaign.
Jumpstart, an American non-profit early education organisation focused on intervening early in the lives of at-risk children, organised the global campaign in collaboration with the Pearson Foundation.
The campaign aimed to gather over one million children and adults from all over the world participating to break a world record of reading the same book on the same day. This effort was to generate public awareness about the early education gap that exists between the different income levels in society.