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Hasanah Project

Hasanah Project (2020)   

Yayasan Hasanah is the Community Partner for BOLD’s 2020 special Outreach Project. The project focuses on bringing literacy to children with reading difficulties in 9 schools; 4 preschools and 5 primary schools. In January, the project started with the training of recruited team members who will be working with the targeted children, in their respective languages: Malay, Mandarin or Tamil depending on the schools' medium of instruction. The objective is to help the children attain functional literacy through the benefits of individualized teaching sessions from March to November 2020. The teams had met and assessed the children at all 9 schools until MCO was enforced and the schools had to be closed. However, they managed to re-establish contact with the schools and were able to start online sessions with just one third of the target number of children. More children have been reached after schools reopened. The project ended in March 2021. Find out more.

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NECIC Teletherapy Support (2020) 

In April 2020, the National Early Childhood Intervention Council (NECIC), a coalition of early childhood intervention organizations in Malaysia, launched this project to support NECIC member organizations to take their programs online so that intervention and educational support for children with disabilities will not be disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Running from April to August 2020 with funding from UNICEF Malaysia, the project will provide free intervention services to enrolled children while supporting practitioners with the necessary skills for online work. As part of this pioneering project, BOLD hopes to build better and more sustainable models of providing virtual interventions to serve a wider population.


Storytelling Outreach (2018-2019)

​​Monthly Storytelling Sessions began as an extension of the Focus on Literacy program to enrich oral language fluency and stimulate greater interest in reading. An award from Shell’s 2017 Raya Charity Campaign enabled BOLD to expand Storytelling as an Outreach program. In 2018, we trained small teams of storytellers to visit selected pre-schools, children’s homes and Community-based Rehabilitation Centres (PDKs) to conduct weekly sessions for children identified by their teachers/carers as having signs of language delay, social communication difficulties, and/or reading difficulties. Storytelling Outreach, conducted in either Malay or Mandarin, benefitted 176 children in 13 different locations in 2018 and 46 children in 5 preschools in 2019.


Best Practice Methods of Teaching Early Literacy (2015-2018)

The Kuok Foundation funded a series of workshops on “Best Practice Methods of Teaching Early Literacy” which benefited a total of 560 teachers from 86 pre-schools and 9 primary schools in different parts of Penang. The objective of the workshops was to equip teachers with the knowledge and skills to make the first stages of learning to read more enjoyable and effective for their pupils, thereby reducing the incidence of reading difficulties amongst young children.


The workshops were organized in collaboration with the schools or preschool organizations. The target group was teachers in non-profit pre-schools, especially those located in the rural outskirts or high density urban low-income areas. Approximately half the workshops were conducted for teachers in Malay schools and the other half for teachers of the Chinese language. A one-day workshop specifically for Tamil school teachers was organized in 2019. Feedback from the teachers was extremely positive; they enjoyed the teaching and learning activities suggested and some contacted BOLD for additional resources.

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We are Friends (2015-2018)

​​We are Friends is a series of 5 books - one each on autism, ADHD, Down’s Syndrome, Dyslexia, and about friendship despite differences. Each book is written from the perspective of a child who has a friend with special needs. The objective is to foster peer empathy and acceptance of Children with Special Needs in mainstream classrooms. Written by BOLD’s Inclusion Consultant, the publications were funded by ECM Libra Foundation and the preparation process was supported by the Penang Education Council.

Designed for preschools and young primary school children, the books are written in simple language and fully illustrated. The series is available in English, Malay and Chinese in conventional book format, as well as in loose-leaf board book format. The books can serve as teaching tools for teachers, parents and caregivers to talk about classmates who are different but can still be friends.


Buy a set of 5 books (size: 204mm X 204mm) for RM30 or a set of 5 board books (size:420mm X 297 mm) for RM180.


Email to place your orders

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We are Friends series are available on Shopee!!!

Children’s Book Series “We are Friends” (A Set of 5 Titles in English)

Books in this series are aimed at fostering peer empathy and acceptance of children with special needs in inclusive education settings. They also serve as a teaching tool for teachers to talk about classmates who are a little different. Each book is written from a perspective of a child whose friend has special needs. The books are available in three languages, English, Malay and Chinese.

Size : 204mm X 204 mm (each book)

Language: English

My Friend Owen – Understanding Autism ISBN 978-967-0216-23-2

My Friend Benji – Understanding ADHD ISBN 978-967-0216-24-9

My Friend Hana – Understanding Down Syndrome ISBN 978-967-0216-25-6

My Friend Anbu – Understanding Dyslexia ISBN 978-967-0216-26-3

Different But Friends ISBN 978-967-0216-48-5

Written by: Dr. Lee Soo Hoon

Illustrated by: Grace Sim

Published by: BOLD Association for Children with Special Needs, Penang.

Click the following links to order your copies! 

We are Friends (A set of 5 Titles in Mandarin)- Board Book Series

We are Friends (A set of 5 Titles in English) 

We are Friends (A set of 5 Titles in Malay language) 

We are Friends (A set of 5 Titles in Mandarin)

We are Friends (A set of 5 Titles in Malay language)- Board Book Series

We are Friends (A set of 5 Titles in English)- Board Book Series


Siblings Camp (2018-2019)

In 2018 and 2019, BOLD & ACS jointly welcomed Professor Hsiu-Shuo Hu and her team of students from the Department of Child Care & Family Studies, Shu-Te University, Taiwan, on week-long visits to Penang. Professor Hu, an advocate for special attention to siblings of Children with Special Needs, brought a new dimension into BOLD’s work. In early July 2018, Professor Hu’s team conducted a 2-day Siblings Camp which included counselling sessions for parents. During the week, Professor Hu also gave a tremendous boost to our advocacy of Inclusive Education through a packed program of 2 public talks and 2 workshops for children and teachers. The Siblings Camp was such a success that it was repeated in 2019.

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Pilot Chinese Reading Package (2011-2012)

A grant from the Toh Kian Chui Foundation enabled BOLD to conduct a pilot project to bring our Reading Package in the Chinese language to 5 kindergartens located in high density and/or low-income areas of Penang. The objective was to test the efficacy of our Reading Package while assisting children with reading difficulties from families who cannot afford to pay for private intervention services. Teaching sessions were conducted 2 or 3 times a week for 6 months for 23 children. All of them showed significant progress in reading skills, indicating that BOLD's reading package is effective.

Team members were trained to use BOLD ’s Chinese Reading Package comprising 2 sets of specially designed readers emphasizing the pictographic basis of Chinese characters. The curriculum was based on the Standard Pre-school Curriculum and the Primary One Chinese Language Syllabus. The target result was that the child would be able to recognize accurately and promptly 218 commonly used Chinese characters.


The Pilot Project also tested BOLD’s Teaching Method, emphasizing the importance of oral language fluency as the foundation for learning to read. Teaching sessions begin with storytelling, simple dramatic role-play, action songs and other play activities. Flash cards, word games, storyboards and a wide range of materials were used to make learning to read fun and to consolidate what was learnt at every stage.

We are Friends
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