Inculcating reading habit in children
AT KID'S CORNER: Theatre personality Manu Jose at the showroom of DC Books. Photo: Vipinchandran
<36,2,,,,,,2>"I would rather read a menu or time-table than do nothing." This quote by Somerset Maugham on reading serves as the magic wand for Manu Jose to herd children to the wide world of words and knowledge.
For the last couple of years, he had been touring schools and libraries in the State and anchoring story-telling sessions on television channels. Now, he will be handling the kid's corner at the new showroom of DC Books, which was inaugurated a couple of days back by film actor Mamootty.
"The idea behind the kid's corner is to bring children back to reading. We are aiming at a space where children can spend a whole day among books. They need not buy books, but can read as much as they want," says Ravi D.C., CEO of DC Books.
Both DC Books and Mr. Jose had been using a lot of theatre to bring home the message. A trained theatre person, Mr. Jose had been concentrating on children's theatre and story-telling sessions. Their project, Story On Wheels, is about taking the stories to schools.
"We are planning to organise a lot of activities related to reading and books. This will include craft using paper, games and, of course, theatre. Then there will be story-reading sessions," says Mr. Jose.
He has enough experience to learn that stories should not end up as lessons on morals. "The messages will not be direct, but will be there. I select stories which appeal to me and only those I can express theatrically," he says.
The kid's corner will become active by mid-July. Already, enquiries have started coming in from schools in the city. "We are trying to create a new culture where parents can drop their children at these reading sessions, leaving assured that the children will be taken care of," says Mr. Jose.
"A coffee shop will also come up next month. This will provide a space for youth to meet and discuss," says Mr. Ravi.
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