The Power of Reading initiative seeks to show that a “book flood” of high quality children’s picture and story books will significantly improve pupils’ literacy and English language. The British Council hopes to secure sponsorship to roll out the project to other schools in East Malaysia in the near future.

At a launch event for the project at a small Chinese school serving a fishing and farming community, the project director, Tricia Thorlby, recalled how she started to love reading after her grandmother gave her a comic with beautiful pictures. Mentor Elizabeth Aliyah said: ‘The day went splendidly and the students are highly motivated to participate in the POR programme. The children responded very positively to the books and were able to discuss aspects of the books with the Y6 students. They couldn’t wait to select the next book!’
Later that week, children showed their excitement at receiving the books and sat with rapt attention while their teacher read to them. Parents also got a chance to join in the celebrations as they shared books with their children at the local longhouse.
English teacher  Mrs. Roselin Adampai said that it was parent and community involvement in the project that will make everything happen.  “We want to develop a reading culture and inspire other communities... and to be a role model". 
After enjoying traditional dance with gong orchestra accompaniment, and a choral speaking piece “Have Fun in Reading” performed by pupils, guests were inspired by the specially composed song in which Year One pupils challenge: “The Power of Reading,  We a ready -  bring it on!”