The Asia Foundation has published 10 new storybooks for children. They serve as high-quality reading resources to enhance the reading habits of young Cambodian children.
The new series of books is produced by the sixth Book Lab, which is part of the Let’s Read Digital Library, a project supported by the Asia Foundation in Cambodia working with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and leading telecommunications service provider Smart Axiata.
The project is intended to enhance the capacity of local book creators and produces free, high-quality resources and bolsters the reading habits of Cambodian children in sixth grade or lower.
An Asia Foundation press release issued on Saturday said the Let’s Read Digital Library has produced some 300 Khmer language children’s books and more than 2,000 children’s books in 23 languages – all free of charge.
“The digital library takes advantage of the rapidly growing popularity of smartphones and tablets which enable people to read books through websites and mobile applications through a link at reader.letsreadasia.org,” the press release said.
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport secretary of state Im Koch said: “The ministry strongly supports the work of the Asia Foundation as it coincides with the objectives of the government as well as the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in building human capital, producing high-quality education materials and promoting the reading habits and critical thinking of young Cambodian children.”
Asia Foundation country representative Meloney C Lindberg said the new stories being developed by Book Lab cover topics ranging from bravery and perseverance to friendship and creativity.
For example, she said, Magic Book is a story about a boy named Vitou who discovers that the secret of his sister’s vast knowledge is her daily habit of reading.
Once he starts reading each day instead of playing video games, Vitou starts to gain great knowledge and is able to solve problems, compete in school and win many awards.
“This is just one of the many wonderful stories with positive messages that will draw children’s attention and inspire them to read,” Lindberg said.
Smart Axiata head of regulatory and corporate affairs Jonathan Yap said the e-books produced by Book Lab have proven to be highly relevant and able to attract many Cambodian readers.
“We hope more young children will utilise this online platform, cultivate their reading habits and ignite their imagination from the many Let’s Read initiatives,” Yap said.
The Asia Foundation, a private NGO devoted to promoting democracy, rule of law and market-based development in post-war Asia, was established in 1954.
“Much has changed in Asia and the world since 1954, but the solid groundwork set by our founders has helped us to evolve as an international development organisation and impact countless people across the region,” the foundation’s website says.