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Beat the holiday slump with Nal'ibali's summer reading challenge

Designed to keep reading and stories alive for children over the long summer holidays, Nal’ibali, the national reading-for-enjoyment campaign, has launched its 2015 Summer Reading Challenge. Set up as a story search on a special activity sheet, the challenge encourages parents and children to explore Nal’ibali’s range of online stories and keep up a reading routine whether at home, on the road or away.

“The holiday period is the ideal time to bring stories to life with children, not only because it shows children that reading is an exciting part of daily life, but because it provides real opportunities to bond and interact in the bustle of the festive season. Creating this positive association between books and fun using stories is crucial to learning, and so we’re challenging every parent, caregiver and reader to bring home the power of stories this December,” comments Jade Jacobsohn, Managing Director of the Nal’ibali campaign.

Available for download as a special activity sheet from the Nal’ibali websites, the challenge invites children and caregivers to find ten themed stories from the campaign’s online libraries. From stories that have a lesson to teach, to those that make you laugh or cry, the challenge requires adults and children to explore the sites to find the answer.

“Far too many children lack informal and regular encounters with stories and storybooks at home and in school,” adds Carole Bloch, Director of PRAESA (the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa) which is driving the Nal’ibali campaign. “This is concerning because children who have enjoyable storytelling and reading experiences are more likely to be motivated to read. And children who are more motivated and love to read, do better in school.”

Nal’ibali hopes to remind parents and caregivers that each storytelling and reading moment acts as a powerful building block for literacy development. And, by inspiring people to read and name these ten stories, in their own languages, the Summer Reading Challenge shows that storytelling and reading are interactive and fun experiences that are not confined to the classroom.

Participants can email their answers or activity sheets to and Nal’ibali will award the first five complete entries with a stationary pack. These lucky winners, as well as all who enter, will receive a copy of Nal’ibali’s 2016 Story Power Promise – a special reading pact to help parents and children keep stories as part of their daily life in the new year. The competition will be closing on Wednesday January 13.

Supporting the drive and helping players complete their story searches, community radio stations Cape PulpitEldos FM and Unique FM will be playing stories on air over the December break. In addition, digital platform, WeChat, will feature the Summer Reading Challenge on Nal’ibali’s official accounts throughout the festive season. All parents and caregivers have to do is scan the Nal’ibali QR code online and join the Nal’ibali WeChat network to have the Summer Reading Challenge sent straight to their phones.

To find more story activities to keep children reading and writing over the festive season, click here.

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