The new Read to Dream 2021 encourages 1,500 students to experience the joy of reading over their summer holiday Promoting reading good books with community partnership
Reading brings wisdom and encourages self-improvement. This summer’s Read to Dream 2021, jointly organized by the SHKP Reading Club, under Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP), St. James' Settlement (SJS), and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), is being held without having to worry about the pandemic, using an all-new online format. In partnership with The Federation of New Territories Youth Foundation and the Tai Po Youth Association, Read to Dream is expected to benefit 1,500 secondary and primary school students in various communities.
The Read to Dream opening ceremony was held today at the sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck. Inaugurating the 45-day run of Read to Dream 2021 were SHKP Executive Director Christopher Kwok, along with HKTDC Assistant Executive Director Sophia Chong, and SJS Chief Executive Officer Josephine Lee, both long-term partners in the event. It was also honoured to have the presence of Ye Hu, Deputy Director-General of the New Territories Office of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government (LOCPG) in the HKSAR, Chan Yung, Hong Kong Deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC) and Chairman of the New Territories Association of Societies (NTAS), Wang Chung-wing, Director of The Federation of New Territories Youth Foundation, and Mak Shing-ho, Chairperson of the Tai Po Youths Association (TPYA), as the officiating guests of the ceremony.
The location chosen to hold the Read to Dream opening ceremony was the sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck (sky100), on the 100th floor of the International Commerce Centre (ICC), the tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong, to highlight how reading can help young people think big and aim high. SHKP's Smartone 5G LAB, the first of its kind in Hong Kong, which was only recently opened, provided students with a unique experience with STEM and 5G innovation and technology, and allowed them to try various 5G technology applications and learn more about STEM.
SHKP Executive Director Christopher Kwok said, "We are honoured to have The Federation of New Territories Youth Foundation and the Tai Po Youths Association as community partners of Read to Dream. This enables the programme to delve deeper into the community and reach more young people. This year's Read to Dream is making special use of the Read For More online reading platform. With the pandemic still ongoing, young people can learn new things online and explore their interests and dreams without even needing to leave home. With Hong Kong developing into an international innovation and technology hub, as outlined in the 14th National Five-Year Plan, combined with Hong Kong's already world-leading 5G infrastructure, this will provide great opportunities and unlimited room for imagination for the development of Hong Kong's digital economy and its status as a smart city.”
Mr Kwok added, “When addressing the nation on 1 July, President Xi Jinping showed the way forward for young people in modern day China, saying ‘the future belongs to the young, so give hope to the young.’ I hope that all young people will keep on learning and broadening their horizons through reading, pursuing their dreams and seizing any opportunities that may arise as the country develops.”
Ye Hu, Deputy Director-General of the New Territories Office of the LOCPG in the HKSAR, said, “A few days ago, China sent out the grand message to the world that the country is ‘striding towards the second centenary goal’. The development of the country requires the wisdom and strength of our young people. I hope that through reading, Hong Kong young people will continue to thrive and grow, open their eyes, open their hearts, grasp the development opportunities, use the passion of youth to fuel the development and rejuvenation of the nation, and live a wonderful life that grows as China grows.”
Also invited to the opening ceremony were Yau Yan-ni, a full-time teacher and writer, twice selected as secondary school students' favourite writer, and Cheung Chi-wing (Yoyo Wing), a travel writer and yoyo master, who shared their views on how to stimulate interest and curiosity through reading. After the opening ceremony, more than 40 teachers and students from six secondary and primary schools took part in a 5G LAB guided tour. While exploring the unlimited possibilities of 5G technology, each was given an SHKP Reading Club gift bag containing books on STEM and 5G, to continue to deepen and broaden their understanding after the event.
Since its launch in 2008, Read to Dream has reached over 28,000 disadvantaged students in various districts, ranging from Primary 4 to Secondary 3. This year, the whole event will be moved to SHKP's Read For More online reading platform and will be held from 15 July to 30 August, extended from just a few days in previous years to 45 days this year. Student ambassadors and celebrities will share the joy of reading via videos, and subject to the pandemic situation coming under control and continuing to improve, a number of offline events will be held for the students to meet writers. This event will help students have a great summer holiday by helping them to cultivate a daily reading habit. SHKP and HKTDC will also provide students who take part with an allowance to buy books and get free admission tickets to the Hong Kong Book Fair, where they can buy whatever extracurricular reading materials they like.
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