Unwinding with a good book maybe the pastime for some, but it is turning into an uncommon hobby with time. Sangeetha Suryanarayanan, an IT professional, felt the same when her two boys wouldn’t read on their own. “When I was working, I would buy books for my kids, with the hope of getting them to read. But, they wouldn’t read on their own,” she says. “I then started reading out to them everyday. I made it a point to spend some time on that. I noticed the difference. They took to reading and now have the habit of reading before bedtime,” she adds.
Sangeetha who was based in Bangalore and has lived in the US for a few years, moved to Kochi in 2005, and started working for TCS (Tata Consultancy Services). She quit her job in 2014 because she wanted to do something in education. She realized that encouraging children to read was something she was interested in. So, she started a reading club at her house.
The Read Club
She invited kids in the neighbourhood and read out stories to them. She would encourage them to read out loud too. “Kids between ages 6 to 12 were coming to the club. I then thought of taking this ahead formally and so, started approaching government schools,” Sangeetha explains. This is how the R.E.A.D club, a social enterprise came about. “R.E.A.D stands for Read, Explore, Ask and Discover. It aims to provide an environment where children can get together to read beyond their curriculum, read more and read better, explore the world through stories, nurture their curious self and discover learning creatively,” she says.