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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

Writers, celebrities, and Plast members to provide Ukrainian children with books

National benevolent project promotes reading among socially disadvantaged children
7 October, 2008 - 00:00

A year-long project to promote reading among Ukraine’s socially disadvantaged children was launched on Sept. 30. The organizers of this benevolent action include the international benevolent foundation Ukraine 3000, Hrani-T Publishers, the BF Society of Children’s Friends, the Christian youth organization Vytaniia, and the Plast national scouting organization.

By forming library collections at children’s institutions in various oblasts of Ukraine, the organizers want to strengthen the intellectual, spiritual, and cultural development of orphans and other socially disadvantaged children. To reach this goal, the organizers have drafted a detailed action plan.

The literacy project will soon be monitoring reading at children’s institutions in various oblasts of Ukraine.

“There are orphanages in every oblast. Our project partners will visit them to determine how many children live there, their ages, and what kinds of books they need. We have to find out what these children should have,” explained Diana Klochko, editor in chief of Hrani-T.

Every month the project organizers, together with an assortment of volunteers, will be visiting children’s institutions in two oblasts and bringing books to expand their libraries. Later, volunteers from Plast and Vytaniia will visit orphanages to talk about books with the children.

“Children don’t know how to read books. This project is aimed not only at establishing mini-libraries in orphanages, but also at teaching them to read books. Children in such institutions seldom understand what it means to read books. Even after reading a text, they are unable to retell it, understand it, or visualize the characters. This problem exists all over the world; there are signals everywhere that people have stopped reading. They are passive readers,” Klochko said.

In addition, the project organizers will involve celebrities, such as writers, theatrical stars, people in show business, and athletes. They will meet with the children and discuss books with them in the newly created mini-libraries.

“The children will meet people whom they have seen only on television. This does not mean that television is being opposed to books. Television people will be bringing books, and they will show the kids that they know how to read books and love them,” Klochko added.

By Masha TOMAK, The Day