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Literacy Blog

Building a nation of readers, school by school

Posted on
February, 18th 2014
Righard’s reading group has grown a lot, from a mere 14 children plucked from informal soccer fields into nine different reading groups – totalling roughly 270 kids – reading every week! His team and him have also been asked to read at local schools during school hours, to help encourage reading for enjoyment amongst the students. He shares with us his view on building a...
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Growing a nation of readers

Posted on
September, 9th 2013
I have mixed feelings about September. While in my head it heralds the beginning of spring and the move towards warmer weather (even if nature doesn’t actually play along with this), International Literacy Day on 8 September always provides a sobering reality check:  775 million adults in the world who are illiterate; 64% of these women and 22% living in sub-Saharan Africa.  Not exactly...
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Pitching in together

Posted on
July, 22nd 2013
“Not everything that counts can be counted. And not everything that can be counted, counts.” — Albert Einstein It’s always a sign of hope when we sense the buzz of activity as organisations and individuals gear up to do of volunteering for a better South Africa, especially around days such as Mandela Day. There is something we can all choose to do to help with one...
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How reading saved my life

Posted on
July, 15th 2013
I am alive today because reading saved my life. There are not many people who love reading. It is so disappointing to find that people still have negative attitude towards reading. I can’t blame them, because we all have different experiences and reasons. I long for a day where reading and writing will be advertised and hyped up like drugs and alcohol. Billboards everywhere, TV,...
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The simple, early triggers that help our children to learn

Posted on
June, 2nd 2013
How can we fix our education system?  That question preoccupies our national mind - and not without cause. We fail to prepare enough people for basic jobs, let alone to sustain a sophisticated knowledge economy.  If that is the question, the inevitable answer is that we need good teachers, quality textbooks and enough time in the classroom. But what if we asked a slightly...
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Instil wonder through reading

Posted on
March, 14th 2013
Socrates said all thinking begins with wonder. So how do we develop a sense of wonder in children? By reading wonderful stories to them. Tomorrow is World Read Aloud Day - a day to celebrate reading aloud to children. But there is work to be done before all children can expect the regular delight of a skilled reader who breathes life into a story. Reading (and learning...
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The power of reading aloud for children's potential

Posted on
March, 5th 2013
Here’s a piece of common sense familiar to most of us adults (well at least, those of us who have ever watched an episode of the Dr Phil show on TV):  you can’t keep doing the same thing continuously and expect to get different results.  So, if you’re faced with a huge challenge like improving literacy levels in South Africa, you clearly can’t be...
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The simple profound thing we all can do

Posted on
February, 27th 2013
In this society which urgently needs to educate citizens to be articulate and literate, there is something simple but profound we can all do – we can tell and read stories to children. Far from being a luxury, the story habit establishes in children the sturdy bedrock on which to grow the power of empathy and an educated mind. It starts with enjoyment. Take Tara: Tara’s...
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New Year reading resolutions

Posted on
January, 29th 2013
Do you make resolutions at the beginning of each new year? Many people’s resolutions involve giving up something they enjoy to improve their lives. But that’s where reading resolutions are different – they are simply about doing more of what you enjoy! Try our suggestions below to make reading and stories a part of your family’s everyday life! And download our Story Power Pacts for you and...
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Which stories should we read and retell to our children?

Posted on
January, 25th 2013
Stories travel – by word of mouth and in writing. Stories for children have been adapted over time from adult stories, often by translators, who have been responsible for crafting and shaping stories to suit their audiences across time and space. Think of Aesop’s Fables, told by Aesop, a slave and storyteller in Ancient Greece in the 5 century BCE. Aesop’s Fables moved for centuries across continents,...
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