The Ibu Baca Program, an Alternative to Improve Children’s Literacy
An advanced civilization is a civilization that is supported by a literate society. Therefore, every country strives to increase the literacy rate of its population. In Indonesia, programs that support this goal have been launched and reactivated through the National Literacy Movement in 2016. These programs are designed to cover all elements of society such as government, communities, schools and families. Through the Directorate General of Early Childhood Education, in particular, the government seeks to create literate communities from the smallest scope, namely families.
Good efforts like this cannot be performed by the government alone. Universities as educational institutions also have the duty to contribute to the intellectual life of the nation both in the teaching process and through programs for the community. This role is taken by Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta through the Institute for Research, Publication and Community Service which manages a team of lecturers to provide services in various fields. Lanoke Intan Paradita and Fitria Rahmawati are part of a team that was given the mandate to increase children’s reading interest through the Ibu Baca program. This program is designed as a support to improve community literacy.
“Parents who read will give birth to children who become readers as well, and a literate generation will bring this nation to the path to progress,” said Lanoke as the head of the Ibu Baca program team.
The program, which was conducted during October-November 2020, aims to provide reading comprehension and skills for mothers who have an important role in forming reading habits in children. This program collaborates with the Management of the Bangunjiwo Barat Aisyiyah Branch (PRA) and involves early childhood teachers, elementary school teachers, and housewives as program participants.
In this training to strengthen literacy, Lanoke and Fitria collaborated with the Mata Aksara community who are engaged in literacy and activists for Membaca Nyaring (reading aloud). “This program introduces a reading method to and for children, namely reading aloud. This method was chosen because in addition to providing a cognitive stimulus to children, parents and children will bond through reading together. Of course, when done in the right way, reading aloud also increases children’s interest in reading,” added Lanoke.
In this program, participants are given reading aloud training by Mata Aksara. To find out the participants’ experiences in practicing reading aloud with their children and grandchildren, this program accommodates participants to share together and share information about literacy in a Whatsapp group.