The joy of read­ing

Free Tree So­ci­ety has launched a mini li­brary for chil­dren.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - STARCHILD - Chan­dran – Sheela

READ­ING helps chil­dren de­velop their imag­i­na­tion, con­fi­dence, and im­proves their com­mand of lan­guage. To in­cul­cate the read­ing habit among chil­dren, en­vi­ron­men­tal group Free Tree So­ci­ety Kuala Lumpur ( FTSKL) has launched a mini li­brary and Sprouts Book Club for kids at its premises in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.

Its pa­tron Bet­tina Chua Ab­dul­lah hopes the move will en­cour­age chil­dren to de­velop a love of read­ing to en­hance their knowl­edge.

“I have loved read­ing all my life. Books keep me oc­cu­pied and happy. As a young child, with both par­ents work­ing, I read in­ces­santly, and I be­lieve that cul­ti­vat­ing a love of read­ing is one of the best things that any­one can do for them­selves and their chil­dren,” says Bet­tina who lives in Ox­ford. She was in Kuala Lumpur re­cently for a short hol­i­day and to launch the mini li­brary and Sprouts.

To kick­start the li­brary and book club, Bet­tina bought 20 books from book­stores in Ox­ford. The top­ics cover a wide range from gar­dens to the nat­u­ral world, habi­tats, en­joy­ing the out­doors, and fun projects. The books cater to pre- readers and adults.

“The sum­mer sea­son sees many book­stores in Ox­ford re­leas­ing ti­tles for chil­dren. Not only are the books com­pelling and ex­cit­ing, they are beau­ti­fully writ­ten, il­lus­trated and pre­sented,” says Bet­tina, an award- win­ning news­caster for­merly with CNBC and TV3.

FTSKL was set up in 2012. Work­ing in part­ner­ship with de­vel­oper BRDB De­vel­op­ments Sdn Bhd, it serves as a nurs­ery that gives away trees six or seven times a year. It needs vol­un­teers for tasks which in­clude gar­den­ing, fundrais­ing and host­ing plants.

“I’d en­cour­age par­ents to come here and read with their chil­dren. When you read aloud to your child, you stim­u­late the imag­i­na­tion, help them de­velop lan­guage and lis­ten­ing skills, and have ac­cess to a world of knowl­edge,” says Bet­tina. For de­tails, visit www. free­tree so­ci­ety. org.

Bet­tina Chua Ab­dul­lah shar­ing the joy of read­ing with So­raya Ann, 6. — Free Tree So­ci­ety

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