It is just so typical of me, over-enthusiastic and overly anxious…. I joined the Parent Support Group (PSG) in my first-born’s primary school on his first day of school. Eh… I was heavily pregnant with the twins then. And I wasn’t quite sure how the twins would turn out, as in whether they will be easy babies or the cranky ones like my son. Neither was I aware of what joining the PSG entails. Giving my low level of mobility at that point, I selected the Storytelling Group, i.e. I read to the kids!
Now, there is this free training provided by the National Library Board on storytelling. I attended because I thought it would be time well-spent learning how to read to my 4 children. The catch is … I have to join the kidsREAD Club in my son’s primary school as a storyteller and read to selected children for at least once a year.
The National kidsREAD programme (kidsREAD in short) is a nationwide reading programme launched in 2004. It is a collaborative effort by the National Library Board together with the People’s Association to promote the love of reading and cultivate good reading habits among young Singaporeans, specifically children from low-income families. The target audience of kidsREAD is children between the ages of 4 and 8.
It is a meaningful program to join, so no reason for me to grumble. It is just that every time I participate, I need to trouble my mother-in-law to help me with the babysitting, and it is not as if she is very free. So I do feel a little bad here.
My First Story Telling Experience
I selected The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs as recommended by the kidsREAD Volunteer Resource Guide. There are a number of resource guides to differentiate and recommend books in accordance with the children’s age group.
This book is told by the “Big Bad Wolf”, who in his own perspective, is not any mean individual as depicted in The 3 Little Pigs story which we commonly know. He claimed he was framed. On that fateful day, he was just a nice guy going around his neighbourhood, trying to borrow sugar to bake his grandma a birthday cake. But his sneezing cold didn’t help. With his huffing and snuffling, he blew down his neighbours’ houses made of straw and sticks. Since the 1st and the 2nd little pigs died after their houses collapsed on them, the wolf ate them up so as not to waste food.
He still needed sugar to bake his grandma’s cake. So he proceeded to the 3rd little pig’s house to borrow some. This neighbour was however very rude and cursed the wolf’s grandma. The terribly upset wolf then confronted the 3rd little pig with all his huffing and puffing. The police arrested him, and the reporters sensationalised the story.
Just like the plot of the Maleficent movie, there is always 2 sides to a story. Since we don’t always get to hear the full story of a particular person or incident, perhaps we should avoid passing judgement easily.
You can borrow this book from the National Library, Junior Lending Picture Book Section. Call Number is English SCI. If you are keen, you can also buy the book here.
The original story The Three Little Pigs is written by James Marshall.
Next was acting out the story. We had a number of roles for them, such as the wolf, the 3 pigs, police officers and reporters. I think I managed to engage the children as they were giggling away while I told the story. Now that they have heard the wolf’s side of his story, some of them actually wanted to be the wolf. Some of the children pretended to interview the wolf and asked whether the pigs were delicious, while another group did the police chasing after the wolf. The last group acted out the original story with the pigs’ mum requesting them to build their own houses. In short, they had fun and I had fun too. My son requested that I go for the session next week. It was his first experience and he had a lot of fun.
The last part of the session was independent work. The children could either go the bookshelves to select books for reading or draw to express their thoughts.
The storytelling session could not be made possible without the help of 2 other parent volunteers. The children were constantly on the move. Some need to drink water, some go toilet, another one lost his colour pencil, so on and so forth…
kidsREAD Needs Volunteers
Volunteer if you can! It is a fun and meaningful program. The kids have varying reading capability. Some are far behind and it would be really worthwhile to guide them through the story books.
There are many kidsREAD clubs in Singapore, not limited to just within the primary school compounds. You can also volunteer in a library or community centre near your place. Click this link for the locations. Join as a volunteer!
Recourses to Share
In case you are not available to volunteer but still want to explore some of the resources, see the following links.
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