The Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign will be running a special pop-up bookstand at the Franschhoek Literary Festival on Saturday 16 May as part of its current ‘Story Power. Bring it home’ awareness drive. In partnership with Times Media, the stand is aimed at providing books and other literacy materials to members of the broader Franschhoek community in a bid to promote and support a culture of reading and storytelling at home.
“Many parents and primary caregivers don’t realise how important their teaching role with their children is, because it seems to be so much the responsibility of school. But actually the informal kind of teaching that happens when adults tell, talk about and read stories regularly at home, is an invaluable part of children’s literacy learning. It’s also a lovely way to spend time with one’s children and is something all adults can do,” comments Carole Bloch, Director of PRAESA (the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa), which is driving the Nal’ibali campaign.
“Ensuring access to stories and books that are inspiring and relevant to everyone concerned is vital for developing a culture of reading,” adds Bloch. “This is why we have made sure that a full range of books for babies through to adults will be provided in English, isiXhosa and Afrikaans”. The selection will include copies of the Sunday Times Nal’ibali Storytime book made up of stories by local authors for primary school aged children; a generous contribution of books for older readers and adults from Exclusive Books; as well as a wide range of titles for babies and young children donated by The Little Hands Trust and PRAESA. Cambridge University Press and Cover2Cover have also donated books for young readers and teenagers respectively.
Nal’ibali Literacy Mentors and storytellers will also be on hand to discuss the benefits of reading and sharing stories with parents, and will demonstrate effective ways to engage children through storytelling and read-aloud sessions. In addition, visitors to the stand will each be given special ‘Story Power Pacts’ with various ideas to make reading a part of daily life, as well as copies of the campaign’s recently launched children’s literacy rights poster to take home. Copies of the of the 2014 Children’s Literacy Charter will be also be available. The charter outlines for adults the type of literacy experiences children should have to best enable them to learn to read and write.
“Franschhoek holds a special place in our hearts as it was here three years ago that we launched the Nal’ibali campaign. Since then we’ve been actively involved in the festival and its outreach programme – the Book Week For Young Readers. This year, however, we decided to extend our reach to parents and adults in the community, because when adults read for pleasure, they role model this important activity and are more likely to read and share stories with their children,” says Patti McDonald, Times Media Education Consultant.