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Literacy Blog

Storyplay and moral imagination

Posted on
September, 3rd 2014
As part of their package of support to Early Childhood Development centres, Nal’ibali Literacy Mentors recently explored the power of Storyplay – a strategy using imaginative (pretend) play as a way to support young children’s exploration and understanding of stories, people and the world around them. Following a week of training with Storyplay consultant Sara Robinson, this is what we learnt:  A factor that characterises...
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Nonikiwe Mashologu is the chairperson of the South African branch of IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People). She was recently celebrated as one of 12 women working to drive literacy change in South Africa. She was also one of the judges for the 2013 Golden Baobab Prize. As a mom and an advocate for literacy, she teaches us skillful ways to sneak...
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David Harrison is the CEO of the DG Murray Trust, core funder of the Nal’ibali campaign and shares his opinion on why access books and stories are is every child's right. This article originally appeared in the Cape Argus, 23 April 2014. Every Tuesday, an enterprising church minister from Rondebosch packs a box of theatre props and heads out to a nutrition rehabilitation centre in Crossroads on the...
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Mother tongue Stories and Preserving Culture

Posted on
February, 19th 2014
Dr. Carole Bloch, the director of the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa, speaks to us about the importance of preserving our multilingual storytelling culture:   Many English speakers look bemused at the thought of celebrating World Mother Tongue Day – what’s to celebrate? After all, it’s normal to use our mother tongue every day, isn’t it? No, it’s not! In a multilingual country like...
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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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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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