Adults inspire Sharjah’s children to take lead

Sharjah Children Council will host a number of children to explore innovative ways to promote reading, share culture and exchange knowledge. The aim of the session is to nurture children intellectually and inspire within them a passion for the written word.
Students on September 1, 2016, from various schools participate in the Sharjah Children Council in Sharjah  .  Satish Kumar / The National
Students on September 1, 2016, from various schools participate in the Sharjah Children Council in Sharjah . Satish Kumar / The National

SHARJAH // When the Sharjah Children Council began listening to proposals for promoting reading amongst children on Thursday, its members decided that some of the best plans might come from the children themselves.

Sixty one members aged between 6 and 12 took part of the second session of the Sharjah Children Council at Al Diwan Al Amiri. They listened to and proposed initiatives to promote reading among their peers across Sharjah and the wider UAE.

The session was given the title We Creatively Innovate … Our UAE and was held in support of the Year of Reading initiative.

One proposal that won support and will be put into action was for book bags on school buses to encourage children to read on their trips home from school.

“Children tend to get bored on the school bus on their way back home, so they become rowdy,” said 12-year-old Naaima Al Zarouni, who pitched the idea.

“Instead of wasting their time doing nothing but being noisy, they can read a book on the bus, summarise it by the end of the journey, and write down what they benefited from it,” said the Grade 7 pupil, who enjoyed reading English stories.

The children who read the most books and provide good summaries will win prizes, she said.

“I hope the project gets bigger and spreads to all schools to raise an open-minded and well-educated generation,” Naaima said.

Council members held a question-and-answer session with Noor Al Noman, a specialist in children’s and adolescent literature, and Ali Al Saloom, an Emirati cultural adviser and public speaker, about the benefits of reading and the love of the written word.

“Mr Al Saloom is so inspiring. He showed us that through reading, we gain knowledge, and through knowledge, we can achieve what we want in life,” said Maysoon Al Zaabi, 12-year-old from Kalba.

Council member Shamsa Al Naqbi travelled from Khor Fakkan to present a proposal.

“Ours was about dedicating a one-hour reading session for children, just like the idea of Earth Hour, we hope this idea gets approved and it spreads to the whole country,” said the 12-year-old.

Reem bin Karam, director of Sharjah Children Centres, was impressed by the questions from the members for the session’s guests.

“Today’s session was amazing. The questions for the guests were improvised and showed a depth in their (children’s) characters and their knowledge.”

Established in 1977, the council aimed to educate Sharjah’s children about parliamentary life in the UAE and developing leaders by educating and engaging the young in public life.

Published: September 2, 2016 04:00 AM


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