This Saturday, January 31, the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign called on all parents and caregivers at the Kwanobuhle Shopping Center to add reading and storytelling with their children to their New Year’s resolutions. Encouraging them on their literacy journeys, the campaign provided both adults and children with special commitment pledges to sign
at a pop-up stand it held at the center on the day.
“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 at home are more likely to be motivated to read. Reading aloud with children, in particular, is known to be one of the most important activities for building the knowledge and skills they will eventually need for learning to read.”
Building on its current series of ‘Story Power’ billboards and Public Service Announcements to motivate adults to share stories and read with their children, the campaign has made the pledges available to all South Africans in the form of special ‘Story Power’ pacts. The pacts can be downloaded from the Nal’ibali website and include a list of ideas for young and old on how to make reading and storytelling a part of everyday life.
“From regular visits to the library, to sharing stories in the evening at home, anyone can adopt these easy-to-do resolutions to help build their children’s language and literacy skills in enjoyable ways,” says Arabella Koopman, Nal’ibali Content Development Manager and former teacher. “This is important given the evidence we have that reading for pleasure is more important than either wealth or social background as an indicator of success at school.”
Nal’ibali has also shared the children’s Pact with the young members and volunteers who attend its network of over 300 reading clubs, and, with 75 parents committing to regular reading with the children in their lives at the Kwanobuhle Shopping Center, and a further 200 pledging at shopping centers in Soweto and Cape Town, Nal’ibali is excited to support South Africans in another year of reading together.
Author: Sally Mills
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