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Nal'ibali and USAID partner for literacy in South Africa

The Nal’ibali Reading-for-Enjoyment Campaign is proud to announce a new association with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Through a recent grant, Nal'ibali will be able to scale and deepen its operations at primary schools in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal over a three-year period.

The project, entitled Story Powered Schools (SPS): A South African Reading Revolution, is a partnership with the Department of Basic Education (DoBE) designed to help develop and sustain a culture of reading in 720 primary schools. It will roll out in the two provinces (identified by the DoBE as priorities for education interventions) and will reach approximately 140,000 children directly, 64,800 children indirectly, and 14,640 adults.

The SPS project will be embedded within and supported by the broader Nal'ibali campaign. Nal'ibali — isiXhosa for "here's the story" — is a national reading-for-enjoyment campaign that aims to spark children's potential by making reading and storytelling part of their daily lives. The campaign is based on a significant body of research that reinforces the link between reading for pleasure and improved education outcome and identifies the necessary conditions to support children's literacy development. The campaign uses a multi-pronged approach to create appropriate conditions for literacy development and to grow a culture of reading in South Africa.

Through this project, schools will be supported to use the mandatory reading period and literacy curriculum time for reading for enjoyment and related literacy development activities. It will also establish at least three reading clubs per school, run by teachers and/or community volunteers and mentored and supported by Nal'ibali staff.

The SPS project will work hard to equip adults in the school’s community to ignite and grow children’s love for reading. Nal’ibali will provide fun and informative training as well as access to high quality stories for children in isiZulu, isiXhosa, English and Afrikaans. Through reading, writing, storytelling competitions and events the SPS project will continually inspire, motivate and encourage participation by adults and children alike.

Literacy is everyone’s responsibility and it’s one of the important ingredients to emancipating the mind, which will help secure the future of South Africa through its children. Projects such as this allow Nal’ibali to play a larger part in this process by powering schools through books and stories.