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Summer libraries welcome 7,000 children in Nghe An

Some 7,000 children in Tuong Duong district, in the central province of Nghe An, have enjoyed their summer break at local libraries.

Children at a Summer Library in Tuong Duong District, the central province of Nghe An. —Photo

The Summer Library project was co-organised by the local Youth Union, volunteers and teachers. 

Moong Van Phuong, a Kho Mu-ethnic minority teacher at Nhon Mai Primary School, turned his house into a Summer Library for children in Nhon Mai Commune since July.

Phuong and his wife Vi Thi Huong, secretary of the commune’s Youth Union, called on people to donate old books, newspapers and stories to open the library.

Phuong said his house was large, so he often organised games and prepared gifts for the children to encourage them to go to the library every day.

Huong said the titles were diverse, including folk tales, short stories about President Ho Chi Minh and celebrities, self-help books, history books and some publications about child abuse prevention.

Thanks to the library, children visited every day instead of going swimming in local streams and rivers which can be dangerous, she said.

Le Thanh Tung, a leader of a voluntary team from the province’s Vinh University, said his 15-member team went to Tam Hop Commune in Tuong Duong District to help set up a Summer Library in July.

The team spent two weeks teaching local children to read, organise games and teach English for free, he added.

“In the commune, children start learning English at 12 (instead of at 6 like in cities and urban areas), so we wanted to introduce English to them and motivate them to learn in the future,” he said.

They were very excited to learn English, they enjoyed being able to count and introduce themselves in English, he said.

Lo Van Giap, Secretary of the district’s Youth Union, said Tuong Duong was a poor border district, with six ethnic groups living together, the Tiền Phong (Vanguard) online newspaper reported.

During the summer, ethnic-minority children often had to follow their parents to work on the field or stay at home alone, he said.

Therefore, the youth union organised the Summer Libraries in order to help the children have a more meaningful summer break, he added.

Parents welcomed the model because they knew their children could have a safe and healthy summer while avoiding dangerous activities, he said.

To open the libraries, the district's Youth Union coordinated with communes, villages, hamlets and schools to gather donated books and newspapers. It also sent volunteers to help children read, he said.

There were four teams of volunteer students at local universities in the provinces helping with the programme.

“We integrated culture, arts, life skills-based education, as well as teaching kids how to be safe in the water and COVID-19 prevention,” he said.

The Summer Libraries attracted a large number of children, he said.

Mai Son Commune was the first commune in the district to run the model, receiving praise from both children and parents, he said.

Soon, 17 communes across the district had started the Summer Library model to help more than 7,000 children, he said.

Although the new school year began on September 5, the libraries would stay open at the weekend.  VNS

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