a child reading a Ugandan storybook

The research has shown that reading to or with children can have dramatic benefits. Joint parent-child reading can improve concentration & memory, enhance vocabulary, develop expressive language, and encourage excitement about learning through reading.

As a parent or caregiver, you may want to incorporate reading into your family’s routines but have no idea how to begin. If this sounds like you, read on!

Start with what you have.

If you feel like you only have 10 free minutes in your day, start with that!

 The hardest part about anything is often the beginning. A common mistake is waiting until you have ‘enough’ time, or ‘enough’ books, or ‘enough’ skill – that day may not come. Start where you are and make the most of what you have.


When your children see books around them, they will be more inclined to pick one up and read. Books can be expensive, however, and it can be hard to find children’s books for younger readers in Uganda.

Try storybooks from the Oasis Book Project. They are high-quality, culturally relevant, and affordable – they range from 7,500 UGX (32-page books) to 15,000 UGX (70 to 96-page books).


Choose books that will interest your children, and that are relevant to them. Reading time should be something they look forward to.

A child will realize that they love reading when they realize that they love a certain book. At the same time, a child may dislike books until they find one that they relate to. Give them some room to decide the subjects of the books they get.

At the same time, be sure to occasionally pick some new books with unfamiliar subjects for them to try. They may discover that they do like them!


It’s important not to get too caught up in how many books your children are reading, or how quickly they are reading them. It’s not helpful to compare their reading abilities either. The ultimate goal is to foster a love for reading.

If you approach reading as if it’s just another chore or homework assignment, your children may not be as motivated to read on their own. Reading is meant to be enjoyable and exciting, so try to present it as such!

Be intentional about reducing screen time.

TV & online programs can be educational. However, decide to set aside some time to disconnect from devices and focus on books. Watching TV can be overstimulating – reading books requires a longer attention span.

Ask your children to read to you sometimes.

If you have younger children, you will most likely be reading to them most of the time. Occasionally, ask them to read to you.

Your children will be excited to show you what they can do, and you’ll be able to see where they’re at and where they need support.

Create activities from the stories that you read.

One way to help your children engage with books is to encourage them to make connections with the story.

For example, in Jomo’s Prize, Jomo makes a bunch of toys using materials found in his environment. These materials are common around Uganda, so a fun activity for children could be to try to make these toys themselves (picture below).

Let your children see you reading.

When your children see you enjoying a book, your claims of the benefits of reading will be more credible.

Read when they read. Make a casual comment here & there about a part of your book that you really enjoyed.

Talk about books.

Initiate informal conversations about books. Ask them what their favorite author/book/character is.  What do they enjoy about reading time? What do they want to change?

If you have any more questions or are looking for ways to get started, give us a call (+256 783 751160) or send us an email (info@oasisbookproject.org). We’re happy to help!

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