Non-profit group shares resources with teachers of B40 kids

Hailey Chung Wee Kye

The KidzREAD programme has helped schoolchildren to make the transition to virtual learning during the pandemic. – The Malaysian Insight pic, May 27, 2021.

A NON-PROFIT group has built a network to share resources with volunteers who wish to teach English to underprivileged primary schoolchildren 

Yayasan Generasi Gemilang recently launched the KidzREAD network to equip B40 communities with basic literacy skills.

“We have seen such tremendous demand for the programme that we’ve had to put students on a waiting list,” said project coordinator Jolene Tan.

“We are not able to cater to all of them despite having expanded one session into four sessions.” 

The KidzREAD programme has taught more than 300 children since 2013. 

During the pandemic, it helped 181 students adapt to virtual learning. 

Along with high demand for the programme came the idea of building a network so that more people could participate in teaching children in need..

The idea was to support those who wished to help provide education for needy communities but lacked the the resources or know-how to do so.

Those who join the network will receive training to execute the literacy programme, said Generasi Gemilang education services head  Caryn Ng.

“There is a starter pack which consists of workbooks, assessments and templates for those who collaborate with us.

“Ideally, we run KidzREAD as a year-long programme with at least 20 sessions for sustainability and continuity to see significant results.”

She said a minimum 10 session were ideal to see improvements in the child’s reading and writing.

Generasi Gemilang has put out the word for partners. Training is provided in 15 sessions over 12 months, after which the partners may embark on the programme in their communities.

The KidzREAD network is a support programme for volunteer English teachers of children from poor families. – The Malaysian Insight pic, May 27, 2021.

As the children often lack devices and internet access for online lessons, the non-profit tries to ensure funding for its partners to provide their young charges with these facilities. Funds are limited and high-need communities will be prioritised.

Generasi Gemilang CEO Melissa Ngiam said the network will enable others to work with underprivileged pupils within their own communities without having to acquire fresh resources to pilot a new programme.

“Through small-group mentoring, reading exercises, and a fun-filled activity workbook, the KidzREAD engaging learning approach has been proven to work for the children,” she said.

Before the programme was moved online, the KidzREAD team held lessons at low-cost housing projects in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. 

Eight-year-old Nur Riz who joined the programme last year, told The Malaysian Insight that she enjoyed the classes. 

“I hope more of my friends could have access to this platform so that they can also improve in their English language especially during this pandemic season where schools are not open,” she said.

Her mother, Noriana Yusof is happy with Nur Riz’s progress.

“Riz has improved in reading and speaking. She converses more with her school friends in English and parents even tell me that her English is really good.

“It’s reassuring that amid school closures, this programme ensures Riz is getting some guidance.”

Guna Sundrit Subramaniam said her two children on the programme are now able to translate English words into Tamil for her.

She was also grateful for the Internet access for her children to attend online classes.

“The programme has helped a lot because I don’t have the money to send my kids to tuition.

“My children also received food and stationery coupons as part of the programme’s reward system at the end of last year,” Guna Sundrit said.

Nur Aishah said her daughter now loves to read when she hadn’t been interested before.

“My daughter loves this programme and is always asking when is the  next class. Her pronunciation has improved a lot as well.”

Find out more about KidzREAD at – May 27, 2021.

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