Taman Bacaan Pelangi – Storybooks with interesting and colorful pictures in child-friendly libraries help students like Santos develop their reading skills.

Santos is a sixth-grade student at SDK Lena, Nangaroro District, Nagekeo Regency, East Nusa Tenggara Province. At the beginning of sixth grade, Santos needed special attention because his reading ability was limited to spelling out syllables.

“At the beginning of sixth grade, Santos was still spelling out syllables. I was worried because Santos will soon face the final elementary exam,” said Mrs. Axiana, the sixth-grade homeroom teacher at SDK Lena.

Since the child-friendly library was established at Catholic Lena Elementary School in August 2023, quality books with interesting stories have been available. Students are naturally interested in reading and borrowing books to take home, including Santos.

“I like reading the book ‘Kontes Gurita Cerdas’. I’ve borrowed it twice,” said Santos.

‘Kontes Gurita Cerdas’ has become Santos’s favorite book in the library. The attractive pictures in the story are the main reason why Santos enjoys reading this book. Initially, Santos only looked at the pictures in the borrowed book, but then he became curious about the story, and that’s where Santos started practicing reading diligently.

For a while, Santos continued to practice reading with his friends and homeroom teacher.

“Santos, you read fluently now,” said his homeroom teacher.

This joyful statement came from his homeroom teacher, Mrs Axi, when she realized Santos had made progress in his reading skills. Now, Santos confidently reads books slowly but without spelling out syllables. This is an achievement.

“After reading the book, I draw pictures using examples from the book,” Santos said.

Santos’s improved reading skills have led him to create drawings and summaries of the stories they read. Now, his work is displayed alongside other students’ creations in the library.

Santos is proof that quality storybooks with attractive pictures can enhance a child’s reading ability. This improvement in reading skills will be accompanied by an increase in children’s reading habits, aligning with the goals of child-friendly libraries in elementary schools in Nagekeo.

As of February 2024, Taman Bacaan Pelangi, in collaboration with the Nagekeo Regency Government, has encouraged students from 109 elementary schools in Nagekeo to develop reading habits through quality books in child-friendly libraries.