The first-ever Islamabad Children's Literature Festival (CLF) that concluded here on Saturday proved a huge success with leading writers, artists, singers, general public and thousands of students from public and private schools and colleges thronged the festival.More than 23,000 participants attended different sessions during the two-day festival.To inculcate the habit of reading into youngsters, the CLF put up book launches, book fairs, creative writing and book-making sessions, besides arranging activities like live puppet, cartoon, theatre and music shows. The sixth Children's Literature Festival of the country and the first one in the history of Islamabad was organised by Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) and Oxford University Press (OUP), in collaboration with the Foundation Open Society Institute (FOSI) Pakistan at the Pak-China Friendship Centre.The festival featured several stimulating talks and interactive discussions on various issues like promoting the culture of reading, critical thinking among children, the use of mother tongue as a medium of instruction, and active citizenship.Saturday being the weekend, thousands of children thronged the festival with their parents and remained engaged in different activities, while younger kids kept glued to storytelling and puppet shows.Amjad Islam Amjad interacted with the audience in a session Poetry and Prose, and presented his poetry along with strong messages related to education, Urdu language, how we can communicate with our new generation in new era with poetry. In a session 'How to Organise CLF's in Schools' with Baela Raza, Raheela Baqai, Nargis Sultana and Ghazal Raza, the speakers said it's a fun activity with the strong purpose. "We are promoting mother tongue along with art & artistic expression, we also introduced storytelling with expressions, in fact we brought diversity with Izhary Azadi and Tarbiyat too because it's not just about participation and fun but "Healing & Learning Festival'.–Staff Reporter

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 26-May-2013 here.