The Sunday Times, in partnership with PRAESA (The Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa), recently launched the Sunday Times Nal’ibali Storybook in four new languages.
As part of the Nal’ibali national reading-for-enjoyment campaign, the storybook called ‘Storytime’ was introduced for the first time in English last year.
This year, through a generous donation of funds from readers and the Little Hands Trust, and in line with Nal’ibali’s support and promotion of reading development in English as well as African languages, Times Media has been able to translate the Sunday Times Nal’ibali Storybook from English into Afrikaans, Sesotho, isiXhosa and isiZulu.
The popular children’s book, aimed at children in Grade R – 6, consists of compelling short stories written by leading South African authors and comes complete with colour illustrations.
It has also been changed from a single edition into two separate books: one for Foundation Phase, and one for Intermediate Phase readers.
CTP printers have printed 18 000 copies for free.
Patti McDonald, consultant to Times Media Education, says: “We are thrilled that we have been able to bring the magic of Nal’ibali to reach even more children. We hope that giving them the opportunity to read in their mother tongue language will develop and grow their love for reading.”
Times Media donated 1 000 copies of the new language Storybook to the Franschhoek community including the Franschhoek Kusasa Reading Project, the Franschhoek Literary Festival Library Outreach Project as well as the Dalubuhle and Wes Eind Primary Schools.
The Nal’ibali team ensured the joy of stories and storytelling was brought to life for the children of Dalubuhle Primary School with its storytellers hosting a number of reading-for-enjoyment activities using the isiXhosa storybook, while pupils at Wes Eind Primary School attended readings with Afrikaans author, Quintus van der Merwe and Ria Olivier from Vriende van Afrikaans.
Staff and children at both schools also received copies of the recently launch Nal’ibali Children’s Literacy Charter. The multilingual charter is a celebration of all the different kinds of literacy experiences children should have to best enable them to learn to read and write and a guide for parents and educators to putting these conditions in place.
“Now that we have ‘Storytime’ in African languages, we’ll see many more children, and the adults who care for and educate them, switched on to stories. There’s no better literacy lesson than experiencing the pleasure of getting lost in a good story – and this happens effortlessly in a language you know well. We hope that versions in the other official South African languages will follow soon,” comments Dr Carole Bloch, Director of PRAESA.
The Nal’ibali reading for enjoyment campaign, supported by Times Media, is driven by PRAESA to spark children’s potential through storytelling and reading. Children who are immersed in great and well-told stories – and in languages they understand – become inspired and are motivated to learn to read for themselves.
Further copies of ‘Storytime’ will be donated to Nal’ibali’s network of more than 100 reading clubs in the Western and Eastern Cape, Gauteng, the Free State, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal.
This article was originally published in Lead SA.