Johannesburg, 11 December 2014 - These school holidays, South African Airways (SAA) has partnered with the Nal’ibali national reading-for-enjoyment campaign to help children soar to great heights through storytelling and reading.
During December and January 2015, passengers travelling with children, and unaccompanied minors, will be offered a specially-developed magazine containing two children’s stories written by local authors, fun literacy activities, and a holiday “reading passport” with challenges to keep them mentally stimulated and entertained throughout the school break. There are also ideas for parents that will help them make sure their children stay keen to read and write over the holiday period.
Celebrating the launch of the special story magazine, Capt. Eric Manentsa, SAA’s Chief Pilot, shared a special storytelling morning with children from a Soweto Nal’ibali Reading Club at O.R Tambo International Airport.
Manentsa shared his own success story with the children, explaining how reading and writing helped him along his journey to where he is today. Renowned poet and literacy activist Lebogang Mashile further inspired the children on their holiday reading adventure by giving a reading of King of the Birds, a folktale featured in the magazine.
Both Manentsa and Mashile encouraged the children and caregivers to bring home the power of stories and spend time relaxing with books, not just over the holiday break, but every day of the year.
SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali said: “SAA’s corporate social investment initiatives are anchored on education and development. Focusing on children and younger learners through initiatives of this nature, encouraging them to read more and write as often, plays a critical role in equipping them with the fundamentals of learning and development.”
“For us, young people are the foundation of a talent pipeline we are building for the future, not only to benefit SAA, but the entire country. We are proud to be partnering with Nal’ibali and promoting their call to all South African adults to read to, and with their children, and thereby supporting their emotional and educational success.”
Adds Dr Carole Bloch, Director of PRAESA (The Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa), which is driving the Nal’ibali campaign and developed the story magazine: “We’ve called the magazine ‘Story Power’, as it links to our current awareness drive to inspire parents and caregivers to tell and read stories with their children at home. It might feel like the holidays are a time to put the stresses of schoolwork away, but rather than being stressful or tedious, reading is a pleasure and this is the perfect time for parents to show children they believe this. Children follow their parents’ lead and holidays allow time to show them the wonderful world of stories!”