Turn­ing trash to cash to im­prove lit­er­acy rate

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MIRI: The Leo Club of Riam Road Se­condary School (RRSS), a pro­gres­sive Chi­nese in­de­pen­dent school con­tin­ues its ex­em­plary deed of turn­ing trash to cash to sup­port Malaysia’s and global ef­fort in con­serv­ing the en­vi­ron­ment while in­creas­ing the lit­er­acy rate.

To mark this year’s In­ter­na­tional Lit­er­acy Day, the club do­nated books in English, Chi­nese and Malay worth RM3,017.40 to the school’s li­brary re­cently.

Or­gan­is­ing chair­per­son Eric Wong Ki­ing Hung said the money was raised from Leo Club’s sale of old news­pa­pers and its stall dur­ing the school food fair.

“Th­ese two projects are the ma­jor source of funds for our Leo Club to pur­chase books and other items like a com­puter, sta­tionery, white boards, PA sys­tem and lam­i­nat­ing ma­chine for the school li­brary,” he said yes­ter­day.

Eric added that the do­na­tion of books and other items to the school li­brary was not lim­ited to In­ter­na­tional Lit­er­acy Day as books, mag­a­zines and other items were also do­nated at other times of the year.

Leo Club pres­i­dent Wong Qin Yi said: “RRSS stu­dents should be grate­ful that they are lit­er­ate. Thus they should en­joy read­ing books. The Leo Club’s vi­sion and mis­sion is to help build up our school li­brary.”

The school’s CEO Dato’ Dr Fong Onn Min com­mended its Leo Club for its com­mit­ment to projects like re­cy­cling old news­pa­pers to raise funds to stock up the school’s li­brary.

Since 2011, the club has been sell­ing old news­pa­pers for cash al­most on a monthly ba­sis.

“One vi­sion of Riam Road Se­condary School is to train our stu­dents to be global cit­i­zens and to be aware of projects and ac­tiv­i­ties cel­e­brated all over the world. An ex­am­ple is this cel­e­bra­tion of In­ter­na­tional Lit­er­acy Day.” said Dr Fong.

In­ter­na­tional Lit­er­acy Day is cel­e­brated an­nu­ally on Sept 8 all around the world.

Ac­cord­ing to Unesco, this year’s theme ‘Lit­er­acy in a dig­i­tal world’ high­lighted the chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties in pro­mot­ing lit­er­acy in the dig­i­tal world where, de­spite progress, at least 750 mil­lion adults and 264 mil­lion out-of-school chil­dren still lack ba­sic lit­er­acy skills.

In Malaysia ac­cord­ing to a re­cent re­port by Ber­nama quot­ing Na­tional Li­brary of Malaysia di­rec­tor-gen­eral Datuk Nafisah Ah­mad, although the coun­try’s lit­er­acy rate is al­most 95 per cent, the read­ing habits of its peo­ple is still some­what lack­ing.

“On aver­age, ev­ery Malaysian only reads 15 books in a year based on an in­terim study the Na­tional Li­brary con­ducted in 2014. Our fo­cus now is on de­vel­op­ing a Malaysian so­ci­ety with an im­proved read­ing habit,” said Nafisah.

(From third right) Dr Fong, Eric and Qin Yi with club mem­bers and other staff of the school after pre­sent­ing the books.

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