To mark World Book Day on 23 April, Nal’ibali, the national reading-for-enjoyment campaign, is giving away books to the value of R250 000. A specially curated list of titles of different South African authors and languages, these books will be gifted to the campaign’s literacy development partners, reaching 20 000 children across South Africa. Nal’ibali is calling on the support of the public to help increase the number of books per child by donating new or gently used books, at special readings taking place on Friday, 21 April.
Nal’ibali has been supporting a growing movement of South African children and caregivers who enjoy reading and sharing stories, since 2012. This is done by providing free access to good quality stories in English and home languages through its web- and mobisites; through its bilingual reading-for-enjoyment supplement, and on more than 11 different radio stations each week. The donation aims to celebrate the work of its partners by helping to create a print rich environment, and recognising the joy and value of reading storybooks.
Handling and paging through printed storybooks, especially for children, feeds into their emotions and intellectual wellbeing. From an early age, children can fall in love with books and enjoy the sensory experience of handling them. Evidence shows that children who regularly read and hear engaging stories, in languages they understand, are well equipped and motivated to learn to read and write.
“The most inspiring part of promoting a reading culture in South Africa is that many parents, caregivers and community-based organisations are already reading and telling stories to their children! Now, through this generous donation by the DG Murray Trust – an initiating and funding partner of the Nal’ibali campaign, we are able to gift the children supported by our partners with hard copies of books,” said Jade Jacobsohn, Nal’ibali Managing Director.
Special handover events with more than 100 partners will be taking place in the week of 17 April and members of the public who would like to support the drive are invited to attend special read-aloud events with local authors and renowned storytellers on Friday, 21 April. These read-aloud sessions will offer parents and children an opportunity to experience the fun of a Nal’ibali reading club, designed to get children hooked on books and reading in a relaxed way. Guests who gift books will each receive a full-colour hard copy of the Nal’ibali Children’s Literacy Rights Charter to take home.
Open read-aloud events take place on Friday, 21 April:
- Gauteng: Bandile Sikwane will be reading aloud his book, Malome Lerata goes to the Library, from 14:00 at Thavela Youth Development project in Zola 2, 2337A, Matshaya Street, Soweto.
- Western Cape – Children’s author, Christopher Gregorowski will read from one of his books, Fly, Eagle, Fly! at the Durbanville Library hall in Durbanville from 14:00.
- KwaZulu-Natal – Ukhozi FM narrator, Sanelisiwe Ntuli will do the read aloud at Times Knowledge Learning Foundation and it takes place at Dassenhoek Library in Mariannhill at 14:00.
“Nal’ibali is built on the simple logic that a well-established culture of reading can be a real game-changer for education in South Africa and celebration of World Book Day is one of the many ways we can work together to establish that culture of reading,” concluded Jacobsohn.