Bring Me A Book

17 Jan

Hong Kong has one of the lowest rates of family literacy in the world, with just 12% of parents engaged with their child in pre-school literacy activities (reading books, telling stories, singing songs), less than a third of the international average (37%). Hong Kong ranked lowest out of 43 regions in terms of family literacy (according to Progress in International Reading and Literacy Study 2011). Hong Kong students also scored very low in motivation, interest and confidence to read and learn.

Delighted to be reading
Research shows that access to quality books is fundamental to reading success and that reading aloud to children is critical for school success. If parents, caregivers and teachers understand the lasting benefits and value of reading to children from infancy and have quality literature in the home, at school and accessible from the workplace, more children will be better prepared to succeed in school and in life.

logoThanks to the generous support of The Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation and their community donors, Bring Me A Book™ Hong Kong has served over 120,000 children who now have easy access to quality books. Over 17,000 parents and educators participated in their read aloud training programs, and hundreds of volunteers donated their time and skills to deepen our impact in the community.
– 98% of their community partners indicated that children’s interest in books improved after the installation of Bring Me A Book™ Hong Kong libraries.
– 98% of parents committed to read more with their children after attending our First Teachers™ Training.
– Each year, Bring Me A Book™ Hong Kong invites reading specialist Julie Fowlkes to come to Hong Kong from California, to conduct special First Teachers™ Trainings that have served over 300 parents and volunteers.
– Their Guide to the Best Chinese Books for Children, and their Read-Aloud Collection have been downloaded over 66,000 times, guiding parents and educators towards the best books for children.
(figures updated Apr 2015)

Volunteer-7How you can help
Bring Me A Book™ Hong Kong can only achieve their mission with the support and involvement of people who share their passion for family literacy. Volunteers help Bring Me A Book™ Hong Kong by:
– coming to their office to help make plastic protective covers for the books that Bring Me A Book™ Hong Kong donate
– becoming a trained storyteller for storytelling sessions at community centres and libraries
– contributing new content for their website and social media platforms
– creating and managing a storytelling programme in the community

For more information and to register, please visit their website.

About Bring Me A Book™ Hong Kong : After their first child was born, James and Su Chen from The Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation, witnessed first-hand the pressures Hong Kong children face and the lack of reading culture in Hong Kong. They recognized that too often, a child’s “success” was based on their last test score, rather than focusing on nurturing an independent thinker who is self-motivated and empathetic – just a few of the benefits that arise from reading for pleasure. Rather than ‘reinventing the wheel’, they searched around the world for a non-profit organization that could address these issues and help change the local mindset in Hong Kong.

When James and Su Chen met Judy Koch, Founder of the Bring Me a Book Foundation in the U.S., she told them her dream was “for every child to be read to.” Set up in 1997, Bring Me a Book Foundation’s emphasis on empowering parents to the joys and advantages of reading to their children and providing libraries of quality books for easy access in underserved communities, resonated deeply with James and Su Chen.

In 2006, Bring Me a Book™ Hong Kong (BMABHK) was officially launched. The Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation seeded the operational costs for the first five years and since then, BMABHK has become 100 per cent self-reliant on finding other sources of funding to cover both operational and program costs – through the generous support of corporations, individuals, government grants, foundations, social enterprise initiatives and biennial large-scale fundraisers.

Other affiliates of Bring Me A Book™ in the United States include Los Angeles, Florida and St. Louis. Hong Kong is the only affiliate outside of the U.S., and works with partners in mainland China to conduct parent and teacher training and consultation to schools.


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