The act of reading becomes an act of thinking, when one doesn't just register text on the page but is able to decode and extract meaningful ideas from it. Good readers use their first voice to fluently and easily decode text; they employ specific strategies to activate their 'Second Voice' — the voice responsible for meaning making. In community libraries the Second Voice is developed by providing easy access to thousands of books. But that alone is not sufficient. That is why TCLP has a robust Reading Project that supports and empowers readers — especially first-generation readers — in bridging the gap between text and meaning to truly embody 'Reading Is Thinking'.
In just 4-6 years, The Reading Project has brought about powerful shifts in our reading community. In the beginning, it was sustained by adult volunteers reading aloud to children of different age groups. Within 2-3 years, we had members of the Students Council trained to deliver read-alouds to younger children. Currently, we are seeing a new generation of 'read-alouders' who populate our libraries: older siblings reading to younger ones, friends reading aloud to each other, members spontaneously gathering a group around them to read a story. It has prompted us to update our motto from 'Reading Is Thinking' to 'Reading Together is Thinking Together'.
TCLP's Reading Project consists of:
Reading aloud is one of the most effective ways to encourage reading and thinking. There are as many ways to read aloud as there are books and readers, but we’ve developed some good bilingual resources on how to do this effectively, depending on your goals.
How do people fall in love with books? Is it a natural, inherent trait? Or something that needs to be nurtured carefully? At Headstart To Learning, which is the Community Library Project's programme for four to six-year-olds, we try to answer this question every Saturday morning.
Read more about this program, how we organize and run it.
We have found that many of our members can read words, but do so very slowly. We’ve developed ways to help build reading fluency. Several of the research-based practices we used could be easily adapted for use in schools, even ones with poor teacher:student ratios.
Our curriculum is open source. All are welcome to use, adapt and share any resources found here. We would love the acknowledgement if you use it, but all resources are free of cost.