It was a Thursday when I visited TBI Thomas Alva Edison in Tanjung Burung, Teluk Naga District, Tangerang. My agenda was to meet with Remaja Tabur Mangrove/RTM (Mangrove Planting Youth), a local mangrove planting community for teenagers. My visit was at the request of Pak Guntur, a local figure that has played a massive role in building positive activities in Tanjung Burung, including activities on nature conservation and reading interest. This time, he was set to find creative ways to manage youth behavior.
That afternoon, Pak Guntur gathered 10 members of RTM. Most of the RTM members like reading, be it online or offline, and the organization itself has been supporting this habit. Our discussion ran for two hours, exploring various creative ways such as clapping method, games, ice breaking and other positive disciplinary method to manage behaviors. We provide real experience for the members by applying the methods during our discussion to manage the audience. The methods will be very helpful to manage children with short attention span during forums or activities. We agreed that creative ways are necessary to raise interest in reading.
RTM believes that it is important to encourage youth and young children to develop interest in reading. In addition to approaching the youth itself, they are also involving parents to increase the children interest in reading by proactively bringing their children to Taman Baca Inovator or Gelaran Tabur Mangrove to read. This is especially important since at the end of the year TBI Foundation will no longer directly control and supply books to TBI Thomas Alfa Edison. Therefore, local supports are needed to keep it thriving. It was amazing that RTM as the local organization has the awareness to keep boosting reading interest of children in the area. As Pak Guntur put it, “I think it’s the youth who can build this village. Building a reading culture in Tanjung Burung has to start with its youth. A learner community of youth.”