Reading habits of govt. school students are confined to notes dictated by teachers, published guides and sometimes text books. While almost all govt. schools have libraries, use of those libraries is restrictive in nature due to operational difficulties. To inculcate reading habit among students, BREAD Society has set up 1024 Children’s Libraries in govt. schools in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in the last 9 years, each library consisting of 650 books and a bookcase with four hanging glass doors.
Selection of books
An Expert Committee selects about 600+ books of interest to 5 to 14 year age group children with colorful graphic designs on stories with moral values, history, biographies, epics, culture, country’s freedom, mathematics, science, geography, general knowledge, personality development, puzzles, sports etc.
Selection of beneficiary schools
Donors can choose a govt. school to set up a BREAD Children’s Library. If the choice is left to BREAD Society, it selects high schools securing 5 or more National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship (NMMS) and upper primary schools securing 3 or more NMMS awards in a year.
NMMS is a central govt. scheme to arrest dropouts. A test is held nationwide in 8th standard for students of govt. and aided schools. Successful students are awarded Rs.12,000 scholarship per annum for 4 years till completion of higher secondary education. Headmasters and teachers responsible for training students for NMMS test are felicitated in recognition of their dedicated selfless service.
Role of BREAD Children’s Libraries
BREAD Children’s libraries are ensuring that books are accessible to students, encouraging them to operate and manage libraries, given the opportunity, and enthusing them to read books of their choice. All the activities of BREAD Society are standardized, objective and transparent, leaving no scope for bias. Over 5 lakh children access and read books. ‘BREAD Library Program’ can be scaled up and replicated.
Corpus for replenishing books and prizes
Write-ups are conclusive proof of reading books. 10 students from each school are awarded prizes for best write-ups on library books read annually. Corpus of Rs. 16,000 is created from the donation of Rs. 40,000 for the library to give prizes to students and replenish new books to existing library schools.
Systems and processes
BREAD Society’s systems and processes of operating libraries are comprehensive. Class teacher selects a responsible student from each class, preferably a girl in addition to class leader to manage the library. Library teacher trains them to issue books to their classmates. Students managing libraries imbibe spirit of volunteerism at a young age. Students borrow a book of their choice in the library period and return it in the next library period. They can read books in the library till they return the borrowed book. Students borrowing books during vacations can exchange books with their schoolmates and read many more books. They can return any library book that is with them at the time on reopening of the school.
A selection of prize-winning write-ups of 2013-14 has been published as “Books Review by students”.