“Nurturing a Love for Reading: World Vision’s Initiative for Primary School Students in Ho Chi Minh City”

World Vision International in Vietnam partnered with two esteemed primary schools, Le Minh Xuan 3 and An Ha, to host an extraordinary children's book festival. The "2024 Book Festival" embraced the theme "Books are Friends to Make," and it did not take long to witness the event flourish with enthusiastic participation and an overwhelming response from the community. Students, parents, and teachers united in their love for literature, creating a vibrant atmosphere that celebrated the joy of reading and the power of books to bring people together.

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The Binh Chanh Book Festival is an initiative driven by the Renovation of Libraries project in Ho Chi Minh City’s Binh Chanh District. This festival aims to bridge the educational gap between schools and districts by creating student-centric reading spaces.

Binh Chanh, located 15 km southwest of Ho Chi Minh City’s bustling center, grapples with infrastructure and facility challenges. The district also faces a lack of investment in critical areas such as education, healthcare, and child protection. With rapid urbanization and a significant migrant population (35%), there is a pressing need to enhance both physical infrastructure and the quality of education, particularly focusing on students’ basic reading and writing skills. This festival, along with library renovations and complementary activities, aims to address these issues.

World Vision International in Vietnam is dedicated to ensuring that every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential. To achieve this, they are collaborating with local partners and donors in Binh Chanh district to develop a comprehensive plan. This plan includes improving school library facilities and promoting a culture of reading among the students.

In 2023, generous donors contributed over VND 2.4 billion to enhance the library facilities and activities of An Ha and Le Minh Xuan 3 primary schools.

Pham Trung Huu, the principal of An Ha Primary School, expressed his gratitude by saying, “The 2024 Book Festival, in conjunction with our library renovation efforts, is a significant step forward. By providing our students with access to well-equipped libraries and engaging activities, we aim to instill a love of reading and improve their reading skills.”

The festival also featured talented performances by students, adding to the festive atmosphere.

Beyond physical improvements, the project will enrich the libraries with a diverse range of books and organize weekly reading sessions to cultivate a reading habit among the students. Furthermore, libraries will be transformed into dynamic learning spaces, complete with computer rooms, and both teachers and students will receive cyber safety training. These initiatives will empower students with knowledge, protection skills, and active participation in school activities.

Students from Le Minh Xuan 3 Primary School and An Ha Primary School enthusiastically participated in the Book Festival, embracing the theme “Books are Friends to Make.”

Nguyen Thi Yen Ha, Area Program Manager in Binh Chanh district for World Vision International in Vietnam, shared her delight at the festival’s success: “We are thrilled to see the enthusiastic participation of students, parents, and teachers. We extend our gratitude to our local partners, KIS Vietnam and KIM Vietnam, as well as An Ha Primary School and Le Minh Xuan 3 Primary School, for their invaluable contributions to this project. Together, we are making a tangible difference in the well-being and education of children in the community.”

The Renovation of Libraries project is an integral part of the Binh Chanh Urban Area Program led by World Vision Vietnam. Since its implementation in 2014 in three target communes (Le Minh Xuan, Pham Van Hai, and Tan Nhut), the World Vision area program has yielded significant positive outcomes.

Over a five-year period, there was a notable 24% decrease in the proportion of child caregivers who resorted to violence as a method of education. Concurrently, there was a 10% increase in households reporting good social cohesion, indicating a positive shift in the community.

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