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Discover and share the joy of reading
     Reading brings joy, inspires minds and creates wonder. Reading also touches hearts and widens horizons. In celebration of World Book Day and to further promote reading in Hong Kong, the Education Bureau (EDB) and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) are working together to present a series of vibrant activities to the community under the theme "Discover and Share the Joy of Reading", including two signature events this weekend - the 2018 World Book Day Fest and the Fun at Central Library fun day - as well as the launch of an online Reading Charter.
     The World Book Day Fest, an annual event co-organised by the Standing Committee on Language Education and Research (SCOLAR) and the EDB to promote reading, will be held at SKH St Mary's Church Mok Hing Yiu College in Sham Shui Po District on April 21 (Saturday). School heads, teachers and school librarians of secondary and primary schools and kindergartens, as well as students, parents and other members of the public are welcome to participate in the event.
     Building on the strengths in the promotion of reading across the curriculum, the theme of the Fest, "Towards a Reading City", aims to foster a sustainable atmosphere and culture of reading across the city by capitalising on the synergy of schools, parents and community partners.
     The Reading Marathon, featuring a drama performance and interactive reading, will be the curtain-raiser for a series of fun-filled activities for students of different ages at the Fest. These activities include the much-loved "Rugby English Active Learning" activity for primary school students, the intriguing "Story Party" and "Picture Books Play Park" for young children, a Putonghua drama performance for secondary school students, and many more. The Hong Kong Public Libraries (HKPL) of the LCSD will specially set up a Pop-up Library with a fun sharing zone, an e-book experience zone, a happy selfie zone, thematic book displays and other activities including a lending and library card application. Parallel sessions will also be conducted to share experience on how schools, parents and government and non-governmental organisations promote city-wide love for reading. Enrolment is on a first-come, first-served basis and can be made via SCOLAR. Details of the Fest have been uploaded onto the SCOLAR website (www.language-education.com).

     It is also worth noting that starting from the 2018/19 school year, the EDB will disburse a recurrent grant to all public sector primary and secondary schools to promote reading. Each primary school will be allocated annually a maximum of $40,000, and each secondary school a maximum of $70,000, depending on the number of classes. Each special school will receive a maximum of $30,000. Schools can flexibly deploy the grant according to their needs. More importantly, in addition to the procurement of reading materials, the grant can be used to organise diverse and interesting reading activities to develop students' interest in reading and create a reading atmosphere. In addition, the EDB will discuss with kindergartens that have joined the New Kindergarten Education Scheme the level of the reading grant and related arrangements. The annual expenses are estimated to be around $48 million.
     The HKPL will also launch a rich array of fun-filled activities to echo World Book Day. The Fun at Central Library fun day will be held at Hong Kong Central Library on April 22 to inject fresh impetus and joy to the library, enabling members of the public to have a unique and extraordinary library experience, and take in the joy of reading with family members. The programmes will include storytelling sessions, games, music performances and "music on demand", book repair workshops, a miniature exhibition, special library tours and photo-taking spots. Moreover, the Chief Music Officer of the LCSD will play saxophone, while a chief librarian will be Auntie Hippo and tell stories to young children.
     More activities will be organised by various public libraries to promote reading at the district level, such as "Our Libraries @ Southern District Reading Fun Day" to be held on April 22 at the Amphitheatre, Stanley Plaza in Southern District. There will also be other activities, such as thematic storytelling workshops and the "Meet-the-Authors" talk series. Members of the public are welcome to participate.
     HKPL users who borrow library materials from April 21 to 25 will receive souvenirs on a first-come, first-served basis while stocks last. From April 21 to May 8, members of the public can sign the Reading Charter on the HKPL website or via the "My Library" mobile app to make a pledge and set their own goals for the joy of reading. The winning entries of the World Book Day Creative Competition, which was themed "My Library" this year, will be displayed at various public libraries from April 28 onwards. For details of HKPL activities, please stay tuned to its webpage (www.hkpl.gov.hk).
     Enhanced by programmes generated by the World Book Day Fest, the momentum for promoting reading will be heightened through other reading activities to be organised by the HKPL, and extended from schools to the community at large, so that members of the public can discover and share the joy of reading.
Ends/Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Issued at HKT 18:02
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