On Friday, 13 November, the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign will transform traffic light intersections into book and story giveaway spaces. As part of International Kindness Day, the Nal’ibali Traffic Book Jam will focus on parents, caregivers and other commuters, to inspire them to bring home the power of stories to children. The Nal’ibali team will hand out free books and story cards in a range of South African languages to passersby as part of its nationwide Story Power drive in Western Cape, Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal. By turning traffic jams into story jams, Nal’ibali aims to show that anyone can tell a story, anytime, anywhere.
“Far too many children lack informal and regular encounters with stories and storybooks at home and in school,” explains Dr. Carole Bloch, director of the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (PRAESA), 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.”
Through the Traffic Book Jams, Nal’ibali hopes to remind parents and caregivers that every moment with their children is one that can be used to create exciting literacy experiences. The presence of books and stories in children’s daily lives act as a powerful building block for literacy development – and adults have the power to bring those stories home. Whether it’s during dinner time, at bed time, or on your way to work or school, all it takes is 15 minutes of reading a day to develop a lifelong love of reading in children.
“We have chosen World Kindness Day to hand out books and stories to the public to not only recognise the generosity of publishers who have donated books to us to share with others but also because of the important role of reading in developing empathy in children,” says Jade Jacobsohn, Managing Director of Nal’ibali. “Our team will be handing out over 6200 stories to commuters with children, in a variety of South African languages, helping to transform those “are we there yet?” moments into joyful shared ones that start with ‘once upon a time…’”
The Nal’ibali Traffic Book Jams will be happening in:
Eastern Cape – Oxford Road, East London (07:30)
Western Cape – Somerset Road, Cape Town (08:00)
Gauteng – Auckland Park, Johannesburg (08:00)
Free State – Barend Street, Welkom (09:00)
Kwazulu-Natal – Marian Sea, Richards Bay (15:00)
Limpopo – Grobler street, Polokwane (08:00)