Some people may prefer watching TV or looking at screens to reading because they find the latter boring.
Over a hundred children and mothers spent Wednesday commemorating World Read Aloud Day in a slum area next to the Pademangan district office, North Jakarta.
The children might have sat on a humble canvas mat next to a smelly river, but their minds clearly wandered to imaginary worlds.
In small groups, they listened to a mother or a volunteer who read a story from a children’s book.
“Where can we see a hippo?” a group of toddlers excitedly asked in harmony, in the middle of a story being told by Afoan Arimiyas Kolo, an activist from the Pademangan Timur Karang Taruna neighborhood youth club.
He patiently answered the question, saying that they could see a hippopotamus in Ancol amusement park in North Jakarta. The small kids nodded and they quickly shifted their attention to a panda on the next page.
The two-hour activity ended with a distribution of donated children’s books, with seated kids patiently waiting for their names to be called to get a brand new book.