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Books On Wheels News Story

Zerka Tahir | Staff Correspondent TBT | Beaconhouse-Newlands

March 31, 2014

Lahore: A book bus, a school system, a publishing house, and an author is what it takes to defy the notion that children these days are not interested in reading books. A collaborative effort by Beaconhouse libraries, The Educators, Alif Laila Mobile Library, Kitab Publishers and author Musharraf Ali Farooqi heralded the beginning of an all-out reading campaign with the aim to make every child a reader.

The ride began with the newly refurbished Alif Laila book bus making its way to Beaconhouse and The Educators campuses in the city. The bus was given a fresh coat of paint with a ‘Storyteller’ sticker on the front and a ‘Dastangoi’ sticker on the back.

The first stop was The Educators Muhammaddan Campus at Wahdat Road Lahore. The campus was full of activity as the teachers and staff put up decorations and excited students waited. A bus full of books on campus is novelty enough, but there was more. Musharraf Ali Farooqi, the master storyteller, brought the books to life. The second stop was Beaconhouse Allama Iqbal Town Campus where parents and children anticipated the arrival of the storyteller bus. Eleven children from The Educators took on the role of Big and Little Reading Buddies (students from senior school pair up with students from junior school to assist them in reading) at the Beaconhouse Allama Iqbal Town Campus where they were paired with the reading buddies from Beaconhouse. The third stop was Jinnah Campus, The Educators. A group of senior students came out to help their younger schoolmates select books and help them read.

It has been a great experience so far, with both students and teachers participating in the initiative with enthusiasm. The Alif Laila school bus will visit many more Beaconhouse and The Educators campuses in the days to come.

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