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Literacy Blog

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) is the richest award in children's literature, and one of the richest literary prizes in the world. The award recognises "authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and promoters of reading" whose "work is of the highest quality." The objective of the award is to increase interest in children’s and young people's literature, and to promote children's rights to culture on a global scale. Nal'ibali is proud...
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What we become depends on what we read

Posted on
March, 16th 2015
Righardt le Roux is the Nal’ibali School and Public Library Coordinator. Best known for his entrepreneurial and innovative skills of “taking libraries to the people”, he has won a multitude of awards for his community work. He talks to us about South African Library Week and how we become maps of what we read: The theme for this year’s South African Library Week (14 – 21...
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Tessa Dowling, Senior Lecturer in African Languages in the School of Languages and Literature at the University of Cape Town, talks about the role of brands and language in the South African context: If you were an African-language speaking child growing up in South Africa, the first written words you’d see wouldn’t be ones from your own tongue. Nearly all the words on packets, street signs, billboards...
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How a book can change a life

Posted on
February, 23rd 2015
He was perhaps 13, face shadowed under his hoodie. ‘Got any spare change?’ he asked. It was some time past ten pm in St Vincent’s emergency waiting room, where my husband was struggling to breathe with a bone caught in his throat. There were no free beds, so the doctors were attending him there, till the surgeon arrived. I gave him a little. I didn’t have much...
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Nal’ibali collaborated with South African role models and public figures to highlight the importance of mother tongue languages in children’s literacy development this International Mother Tongue Day! This video emphasises the challenges faced by many young children as they engage with print and other literacy materials in unfamiliar languages on a daily basis. Local celebs such as YouTube sensation, Suzelle DIY, actress and Freshlyground lead singer, Zolani Mahola, as well as soccer...
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Pop-up bookstores help spread Story Power

Posted on
February, 3rd 2015
In support of our New Year’s drive to get parents to adopt reading resolutions, we held two pop-up bookstores in Cape Town and Soweto on 31 January. Not only were the ‘bookstores’ a chance for people to choose books to take home and enjoy with their children, but also the opportunity for the Nal’ibali team to hand out Story Power Pacts - which is part of...
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Story as meaning-making

Posted on
December, 4th 2014
Stories are woven so tightly into the fabric of our everyday lives that it’s easy to overlook their significance in framing how we think about ourselves and the world. They fill every part of our daily lives as we talk about events and people, read books and news reports, gossip, send text messages, listen to music, watch video clips, and catch up on a...
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PRAESA (the research initiative behind Nal'ibali) talks about nurturing readers and writers in South Africa, and its solutions for a literate country.
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It's International Translation Day, and so it is an appropriate day on which to ask: Why is literacy important? The answer is simple: We will never succeed economically, or as a society, if we are not literate. Literacy remains the key to unlocking South Africa’s success and yet both numerical and linguistic literacy continue to evade us. As a multilingual, multicultural society, social cohesion and deep learning can happen only if we create a plethora of “literacies” in...
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How family stories transform children’s lives

Posted on
September, 26th 2014
"Once upon a time, there was very clever young man in a certain village. People were jealous about this. One day an old man came to visit this young clever man to ask him ask him some difficult questions to prove his intelligence..." This Heritage Day, we asked our team and children who attend Nal’ibali reading clubs to record some of the old stories their...
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