Children at a Summer Library in Tương Dương District, the central province of Nghệ An. —Photo baonghean.vn
NGHỆ AN — Some 7,000 children in Tương Dương district, in the central province of Nghệ An, have enjoyed their summer break at local libraries.
The Summer Library project was co-organised by the local Youth Union, volunteers and teachers.
Moong Văn Phượng, a Khơ Mú-ethnic minority teacher at Nhôn Mai Primary School, turned his house into a Summer Library for children in Nhôn Mai Commune since July.
Phượng and his wife Vi Thị Hương, secretary of the commune’s Youth Union, called on people to donate old books, newspapers and stories to open the library.
Phượng said his house was large, so he often organised games and prepared gifts for the children to encourage them to go to the library every day.
Hương said the titles were diverse, including folk tales, short stories about President Hồ Chí Minh and celebrities, self-help books, history books and some publications about child abuse prevention.
Thanks to the library, children visited every day instead of going swimming in local streams and rivers which can be dangerous, she said.
Lê Thanh Tùng, a leader of a voluntary team from the province’s Vinh University, said his 15-member team went to Tam Hợp Commune in Tương Dương District to help set up a Summer Library in July.
The team spent two weeks teaching local children to read, organise games and teach English for free, he added.
“In the commune, children start learning English at 12 (instead of at 6 like in cities and urban areas), so we wanted to introduce English to them and motivate them to learn in the future,” he said.
They were very excited to learn English, they enjoyed being able to count and introduce themselves in English, he said.
Lô Văn Giáp, Secretary of the district’s Youth Union, said Tương Dương was a poor border district, with six ethnic groups living together, the Tiền Phong (Vanguard) online newspaper reported.
During the summer, ethnic-minority children often had to follow their parents to work on the field or stay at home alone, he said.
Therefore, the youth union organised the Summer Libraries in order to help the children have a more meaningful summer break, he added.
Parents welcomed the model because they knew their children could have a safe and healthy summer while avoiding dangerous activities, he said.
To open the libraries, the district's Youth Union coordinated with communes, villages, hamlets and schools to gather donated books and newspapers. It also sent volunteers to help children read, he said.
There were four teams of volunteer students at local universities in the provinces helping with the programme.
“We integrated culture, arts, life skills-based education, as well as teaching kids how to be safe in the water and COVID-19 prevention,” he said.
The Summer Libraries attracted a large number of children, he said.
Mai Sơn Commune was the first commune in the district to run the model, receiving praise from both children and parents, he said.
Soon, 17 communes across the district had started the Summer Library model to help more than 7,000 children, he said.
Although the new school year began on September 5, the libraries would stay open at the weekend. — VNS