KHS drops everything and reads

2018-04-04 06:02
Cath Wickins, who is thelibrarian at KHS, stands next to the National Library Week display, which she created.PHOTO: samkelisiwe gumede

Cath Wickins, who is thelibrarian at KHS, stands next to the National Library Week display, which she created.PHOTO: samkelisiwe gumede

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LAST week was National Library Week and Kingsway High School celebrated by highlighting the importance of reading and reminding its pupils that the library is open to them at school.

Cath Wickins, who is the librarian at Kingsway High, has over 15 years’ experience as a librarian and is passionate about books.

She launched the international programme D.E.A.R. (Drop everything and read) at Kingsway High, where once a week, during extended registration, the whole school, including staff members, drops everything and reads either a book, magazine or newspaper of their choice.

Passionate about reading and literature, Wickins said: “We launched Dear at the school because we want to encourage a love of reading and inculcate a habit of reading among our pupils.”

Dear was initially designed to remind people of all ages to make reading a priority activity in their lives and to encourage and promote literacy among all people.

KHS has adapted that programme to benefit not only its pupils but the entire staff.

The KHS library has over 10 000 books that were carefully selected and bought to appeal to the pupils of the school and Wickins said that purchasing the books is the exciting part for her.

“The best part is the buying of the books. It’s nice to go and buy books but it’s quite a thing because you have to be very careful that you are purchasing for your readership, so I am looking for young adult literature and teenage novels,” said Wickins.

The library is run by herself and two teams, which she describes as dedicated pupils who never get the rightful recognition they deserve as library monitors.

KHS also, for the first time this year, awarded a prize to the most prolific reader.

The winner was Zama Mbanjwa, who is said to have far and above deserved this award.

Wickins said that she has been encouraging children to read over the coming holidays to improve their literacy.

“Reading affects all the facets of academia; it is the foundation of everything in schools,” said Wickins.

She added that it helps when a library is colourful and lovely, as more pupils are then attracted to it.

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