A story a day before going to play

2019-02-07 06:01
Marcia Nkomfe, assistant librarian at the Hector Pietersen Library, reads aloud to learners of Umqophiso Primary School at the library on World Read Aloud Day.PHOTO: Mzwanele Mkalipi

Marcia Nkomfe, assistant librarian at the Hector Pietersen Library, reads aloud to learners of Umqophiso Primary School at the library on World Read Aloud Day.PHOTO: Mzwanele Mkalipi

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Assistant librarians at Hector Pietersen Library spent hours reading books to and doing puzzles with Grade 1 learners of Umqophiso Primary School.

This was part of the library’s participation in the World Read Aloud Day (WRAD) that took place on Friday 1 February.

The day was celebrated throughout the country and globally, and the staff decided to play their part as well.

The eager young learners took interest as they listened to stories, which is something they don’t do much of at home.

After listening to the stories being read, they were asked questions about what they heard.

Nomasilakhe Mekuto, assistant librarian, told City Vision reading helped learners share views and learn to communicate effectively.

“What we did today is very rare for the learners, as they don’t really have it at home. Their parents come back from work very tired and spend less time with their children,” she said.

Mekuto said library staff also encourage learners to visit the library, so they can have library membership cards and are able to get books to read.

“We also ask parents to be involved in their children’s lives and assist wherever they can,” she said. “At the library we have books that are dedicated to them and they will find them interesting.”

Another staff member, Marcia Nkomfe, said learners also have access to CDs, books and magazines if they have membership cards.

“What we are doing today is very important, as it will inculcate a culture of reading,” she declared. “Reading also helps children with listening skills, as they have to interpret what is being said in these books in their own way.”

Nkomfe says such days also help them as library staff in forming relationships with the local educators.

Grade 1 class educator Nomathemba Ketana said days such as these helped ensure learners developed their languages.

She says educators also encourage and give advice to parents on how best they can help their children with reading at home.

“As teachers we encourage that parents ensure that their kids at least spent 10 minutes every day, reading something,” Ketana said.

“Even if there’s no homework they must read for at least 10 minutes before going out to play.”

World Read Aloud Day was established in 2010 by the non-profit organisation LitWorld, and has grown to include more than a million people actively participating in local events in more than 100 countries.

WRAD is the biggest literacy drive in the country, and aims to draw attention to the importance of reading aloud to children in their home languages.

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