It’s an undeniable fact that reading to young children makes them healthier, smarter, and well equipped for the future. It’s this straightforward reality that led us to create Raising Readers, a countrywide program that provides imported (English language) books—at affordable prices—to all Pakistani children between the ages of birth to fifteen. The website has a broad collection of some of the finest volumes from the great classics to the best contemporary ones, handpicked by experts.
By the simple act of giving children the opportunity to own otherwise expensive books at less than half the original cost, our bookshop reinforces the powerful understanding that literacy is the pathway to success. We provide parents, schools, and individuals the opportunity to own beautiful pre-owned books to give to kids. The website will also reinforce the well-documented link between literacy and health.
Mothers across the country are stressing over their children’s excessive use of gadgets. One single-mother brought a story to us. “After a whole day of nagging my son to quit watching cartoons, I finally gave up and decided to approach the problem from a different angle. I sat down with my favourite childhood storybook and started reading aloud. Soon my son put down the iPad and became engrossed in the magical story so much that he came and sat down next to me. We spent the whole afternoon reading and laughing together.” This family had begun their journey of learning through reading. The only hindrance was, that this single mother with her limited resources found herself unable to acquire quality books for her son because they were either unavailable or too expensive.
Thus, building a love of ‘reading and books’ by providing them accessibility at an early age is what kept us up at night. This got us thinking and we started to dream about opening a library especially for children.
We have a team of passionate and qualified educators, who have spent the last 10 years serving the children of Pakistan from various platforms. We have felt the pain of children in the slums of Liyari and are proud that amongst our members are those that have strived to provide a chance for impoverished young boys and girls to learn to read, write and comprehend the English and Urdu language. Our collection is carefully selected by trained professionals including counselors and professors who have a deep understanding of the psychology and an awareness of the needs of our next generation.
We intend to build a library that has an enormous collection of distinguished books and is open to the public at no cost. Since the literacy rate in Pakistan is very low, we will provide reading programs geared towards teaching children from all walks of life. There will be storytelling sessions that transport audiences of young kids to far away lands. We hope to give children the chance to experience all that the world has to offer and to kindle the light of creativity into a fire of blazing imagination. The online Raising Reader’s bookshop is a means to collect funds from proceeds of book sales to make our library a reality. We aim to develop into a community partnership and work with other community literacy initiatives.