As part of the British royalty’s activities during their visit to Botswana Prince Harry will officially launch the 2010 British Council Reading Challenge at one of the local primary schools.
This year’s reading challenge will be rolled out to 8 schools under the theme “Space Hop”. The British Council will supply books for both young learners and older primary school pupils. The books will be mainly on space travel, and will be selected based on quality of writing and appeal to children.
British Council Botswana Director Paul Woods said the aim of the challenge is to create a love of reading, support English language development, and encourage parents to get involved in their children’s English language learning.
Woods said Prince Harry will watch a display of traditional and modern dancing and then chat to pupils.
Pupils will keep a record of the books they have read and all those who succeed in reading six books over a specified period will receive a medal in reward.
“Like athletes in training, new readers need encouragement to grow in confidence,” said Woods. The medal system breaks the Reading Challenge up into achievable goals for young readers.
Research has shown that children who took part in the challenge during their school holidays returned to school energized and eager to learn, often with a renewed enthusiasm for reading and all the advantages it offers.
The Reading Challenge, which began as a UK initiative, is now run by 96% of British primary schools during the long summer holiday, with 700, 0000 children taking part.
Woods said the British Council has now extended the programme to 23 different countries, including Botswana. The schools for the pilot project were selected with the help of the Ministry of Education and Skills Development. Prince Harry will be in Botswana from June 14-18, 2010.