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Omphile is a 13-year-old Grade 7 learner at Prinshof School for blind and visually imapired children. She has congenital glaucoma and therefore has limited eyesight. Omphile has always enjoyed reading – perhaps because everyone else in her family reads – and would like to encourage adults and older caregivers to help other blind or visually imapired children experience the joy she has found in...
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The healing power of stories

Posted on
17 August 2015
Reading and telling stories are important activities that encourage children to develop their imaginations,  excellent memories and increase their vocabularies. As part of our broader ‘Story Power’ campaign, we embarked on a two-day programme of  ‘Healing through Stories’ workshops designed to use stories – written, told and read – to help children to make sense of their hardships, in a fun environment where play...
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Women's month: Literacy superwomen

Posted on
17 August 2015
This Women’s Day we salute local librarians, teachers and literacy activists for being inspiring change-makers in their community. The literacy librarian: Edith Khuzwayo Edith Fezeka Khuzwayo, the Managing Librarian at the Murray Park Library in the City of Johannesburg, is one of those community members who should be celebrated not just on Women’s Day but every day of the year. In addition to managing the day-to-day running...
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Youth Month is a good time to reflect on the past. Our past. It is when we take a moment of silence to remember those who died to liberate us. It is important to remember. And stories are an essential part of remembering. Stories enable us to view past events as if we were part of it. As readers, we are able to step into...
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With US paediatricians now prescribing reading with children as part of their essential care, Malini Mohana speaks to local experts to see how they think the power of stories can shape children’s social, cognitive and emotional wellbeing. Storytelling is the primal way in which human beings organise and compartmentalise their experiences. We’re not just narrators of things that happen around us; we’re also the narrators...
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They're just words on a page, but books can take you places and open up worlds of wonder, enlightenment, and imagination for your children. This June, Gus Silber reflects on the role his own father played in shaping his future through books and stories and the power of parents to pass on this important tradition. I grew up in a house without walls, and a...
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Nakanjani Sibiya is an award-winning author of a number of isiZulu books across various genres. Contributing most significantly to the short story category, his works often reflect the people of his rural KwaZulu-Natal hometown, depicting their sense of humour, despair, triumph and determination to survive. In this piece, Sibiya tackles just how crucial it is for South African writers to take on uncomfortable and taboo...
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Building bridges with books

Posted on
14 June 2015
Born in the Eastern Cape, Sonwabiso Ngcowa is an emergent young author. Passionate about literature and social development, he uses writing and stories to uplift those around him. In this article, Ngcowa explores how reading and books bridge a divide between all cultures: With life being as busy as it is in the modern world, our opportunities to meet new people and connect with each other...
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In praise of reading aloud

Posted on
14 June 2015
South African author Linda Rode is well known in the children’s book world as an avid collector and lover of fairytales.  Having authored three prize-winning children’s books of her own, compiled and contributed to a further 12 children’s anthologies and translated numerous of books and stories for children, her storytelling style is perfect for reading aloud: Since it’ll be three to four years before the...
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How family storytelling helps us grow

Posted on
14 June 2015
Award-winning South African author Maxine Case reflects on the role of intergenerational storytelling in preserving family history and supporting children’s literacy development: During the school holidays, my sisters and I would join our cousins at our grandmother’s house. With 10 children underfoot, Ma had little time to devote to any of us, but she was fond of me. Like her, I was a bookworm. Ma knew...
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