World Book Day is a worldwide celebration of authors, illustrations, books, and reading and is observed in order to promote the benefits and enjoyments of reading books. UNESCO celebrates World Book Day every year on April 23 as a symbolic date for world literature. The day celebrates the role of books as a bridge between generations and across cultures, a link between the past and the future. This is a time when we should recognize the value of reading, encourage children’s development as readers, and foster a lifelong love of literature.
Reading is the most effective way to build vocabulary, and this is especially true for children. Besides helping us understand different ideas and theories, it also increases our knowledge and keeps our memory sharp. Involving children in World Book Day improves their ability to think logically. Many people are unaware of the mental health benefits of reading, and World Book Day celebrations can help instill positive attitudes about the activity. Besides, teaching kids about the importance of reading, this celebration encouraged them to read more books, which helps in enhancing their listening, learning, and creative abilities. A nationwide campaign was organized by the JAAGO Foundation to celebrate and promote this day. It was designed for children between the ages of 10 and 16.
To introduce the Let’s Read App to the children and the parents in order to make educational resources more accessible and develop reading competence through Let’s Read learning app.
The activities for the campaign are given below –
Call for Registrations
The first activity of the campaign was the recruitment of the volunteers. A call for registration was conducted. Social media and other platforms were used to encourage the youth volunteers to join the celebrations and share their interest in registering. The invitation included information about the volunteers’ roles and responsibilities. Young people who qualified the requirements were encouraged to register by JAAGO’s volunteer network and join the campaign.
Selection of Volunteers
After the invitation for the registration, eligible youths were selected for the campaign. Participant youth were between the ages of 18 and 30. From each district, 25 volunteers were selected for the campaign, totaling of 1600 volunteers from 64 distracts in Bangladesh.
Training of Volunteers
Following the recruitment of the volunteers, a training session was conducted. Through virtual training sessions, the volunteers were briefed about their roles and responsibilities. Volunteers from each district joined the session and they further trained the other volunteers in their districts. The volunteers were informed about the “Let’s Read” app, and its functionalities. They were instructed on how to conduct the promotional campaign and interact with the parents and children.
A week-long campaign was conducted throughout all the 64 districts of Bangladesh from 22nd to 28th April, 2022. Youth volunteers were mobilized to promote door-to-door awareness about the importance of reading competence, as well as sensitizing parents to download the Let’s Read App on their smartphones. Parents were given leaflets emphasizing the importance of reading by volunteers. In addition, the parents were explained on how and why to download the Lets Read App on their own smartphones. Volunteers showed parents and children a demonstration of the app on their smartphones. A few stories from the application was read aloud, and its unique features were discussed with the parents and children and the parents were encouraged to download it on their phones. A minimum of 10 children and 10 parents were reached by each volunteer. Thus, in all 64 districts, 16000 children and 16000 parents were directly engaged by 1600 volunteers.
- Community awareness raised for promoting e-learning platform through Let’s Read Learning App.
- Youth volunteers instructed and helped the parents to download the “Let’s Read App”.
- Leaflets were distributed in the locality to the general public.
- Social media promotions were done through using dedicated hashtags for the campaign.
Through the campaign a new learning platform was introduced. The parents and teachers appreciated this new interactive way of learning. People including youths and elder people were happy and satisfied with this initiatives. However, many parents were reluctant to download the app because they believed it will increase their children’s screen time and mobile addiction which can be harmful to the children. Due to unavailability of internet access in many households, people were not able to access the app. Many of the parents and teachers suggested to include offline content options in the app to make it accessible to the wider audiences and to include more contents in Bangla language to motivate more people to use the app.