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Celebrating the Love of Books in Elementary School


All students, Early Years through grade 5, gathered to celebrate the publishing of a book by our very own UNIS author, Gary Gray Jr. Gary read aloud, I’m From, his autobiographical book about his connections to place, people and food. We were fortunate to be part of his celebration and have him read us his story.  

If you would like to order a copy of I’m From, please fill in THIS FORM before Saturday, 30 September, and bring 450k VND to the library by Monday, 2 October. If you send money with your child, clearly label the envelope with your child’s name and their class (Example: Amy Chen, 2D). The library will only order copies for people who pre-order and pay for the book.

Once the books arrive in Vietnam, we are hoping to have a special community event where Gary can read his book and sign copies in the library.


Elementary teachers and teaching assistants also gathered to watch and learn from Kathy Collins, a visiting author and renowned reading consultant. She has presented at conferences around the world and coaches schools in growing effective literacy instruction. Our teachers had the great fortune to take a deep dive into the ways that we can confer with students and support them with small nudges in the reading development. Teams of teachers also gathered to discuss strategies to implement across the programme which would enhance and develop the skills and dispositions of all of our readers. One structure Kathy helped demonstrate was the art of conferring. Conferring refers to a one-on-one conversation between student and teacher during reading time. It is an opportunity for a teacher to develop an understanding of a child’s reading identity, identify strengths and then teach areas in need. 

Kathy also presented a session for our ES parents about fostering our children’s love of reading. Kathy shared why and how families can support and engage elementary age readers. Because home learning expectations for ES students at UNIS is reading or being to read each night, this session aimed to give parents strategies to make time for pleasure reading at home in enjoyable and engaging ways. Here are a few tips she shared: 

  • Play with words and sounds
  • Read aloud to your children
  • Read in front of children (your own books)
  • Be your child’s reading buddy
  • Let kids choose
  • Make time for reading each day
  • Have conversations about books, the process of reading
  • Be word collectors

Cuddle up with a good book and celebrate the joys of reading!