Daily reading to children helps with literacy

2019-02-07 06:01

The City of Cape Town’s libraries, in conjunction with Nal’ibali, the national reading-for-enjoyment campaign, came alive to the sounds of storytelling on this year’s World Read Aloud Day (WRAD) on Friday 1 February.

The event was established in 2010 by NPO LitWorld, which has more than a million people participating in local events in more than 100 countries.

“Reading daily to children, even to toddlers, can help with literacy skills and language acquisition,” explained mayor Dan Plato.

“The City does all it can to encourage reading from an early age. We have several programmes at our facilities, where library staff read aloud to children and I want to encourage parents to take advantage of this service. This forms part of our commitment to being an opportunity city, by improving literacy levels.”

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.

“This event aims to motivate children, teens and adults to celebrate the power of words and participate in an event that creates the opportunity to imagine, learn and experience the magic of books out loud,” said Zahid Badroodien, Mayoral Committee member for Community Services and Health.

“Reading aloud is one of the most important activities in language development, because it builds word-sound awareness, builds memory and stimulates curiosity. It also helps children develop a positive relationship with reading and books, and allows for parents and children to bond.

“It encourages children to listen and expand their world and helps instil a love of reading and books, while giving them wings to imagine and dream. Readers think better and more critically.”

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