The Nelson Mandela Bay Libraries, in partnership with the Walmer Angels Project, has embarked on an ambitious project to build a new generation of readers, starting with a pilot project that started at the end of March in Gqebera (Walmer Township) in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. Experience gained by participating in this project will be invaluable for future library activities.
The project includes a number of activities, including storytelling and reading at 16 crèches and to the Grade R and Grade 1 children at the Walmer Junior School in Gqebera, and formal literacy sessions with pupils from Grade 2 at the school. The activities are volunteer-based and take place at the school during school-time.
The Library Service has arranged a weekly story-hour at the Walmer Junior School for the two foundation phase grades, and is also considering story-telling at the crèches. The caregivers at these crèches have been supported in their valuable jobs by training and skills transfer, and a number of crèches have had toilets, classrooms and jungle gyms installed by private companies in response to approaches by the Walmer Angels Projects.
It is not only the crèches in Gqebera that benefit from the story-telling, reading and other educational play activities, though.
Libraries throughout the metro area invite their local crèches to come to the library for a weekly fun session as a way of introducing the younger children to libraries and reading. Often this is the only opportunity for the toddles to be exposed to books and reading in any way.
To assist in this activity, we ask the public to donate suitable books for toddlers at crèches, play schools and nursery schools in the metro. All libraries will have a box labelled “BOOK DONATIONS” on display where these books can be dropped off, and at the end of May the books will be collected, sorted, repaired if necessary, and delivered to their new owners at the start of the term in July.
For more information regarding the Walmer Angels Project, contact the Founder Glenda Brunette at 072 476 1040 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like volunteer at the Shine Literacy Centre, contact the manager Mary-Lee Arnot at 082 093 7797.
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