GREEN Hill Primary School in Pietermaritzburg is the latest recipient of three mobile libraries ahead of International Literacy Day, set to be commemorated on September 8. Professor Yusuf Karodia, founder of higher education institution MANCOSA (Management College of Southern Africa), is a strong believer that reading is an essential ingredient for children to improve their literacy, further their education and to brighten their future.Through the Yusuf Karodia Foundation, he has launched the “Million Books Project” which aims to provide more than a million books to school children across South Africa through mobile libraries.“Research has shown that access to libraries improves pupil performance and increases their chances of success. A literate, educated society is a safer, healthier, and more prosperous society. Sadly, hundreds of schools lack libraries.“The mobile libraries can be wheeled from one classroom to another and learners can easily access a diverse collection of books,” said Karodia.Magnate Ntombela, Registrar at MANCOSA, said: “Reading broadens the mind and provides a rich perspective of local and global happenings for people who don’t get an opportunity to travel. “Reading in the formative school years is important, otherwise it is difficult to catch up later on and a gap exists throughout one’s life, continuing into higher education and working life.”He said parents needed to be more involved in the education of their children and that positive expectations from teachers and parents significantly impact pupil outcomes.Rathna Pather, Head of the School of Education at MANCOSA, said: “Reading is a critical component of a child’s life. Nothing can replace the joy of being gifted with a book which triggers a child’s imagination and encourages sensory learning.”She said if parents were to invest time reading to their children from a young age, they would learn to love books and open their minds to a world of possibilities.Ishan Rajcoomar, Principal of Green Hill Primary School, said: “We are most grateful to have been selected as a recipient of three mobile libraries. “The children are now experiencing a wonderful culture of new and modernised books that will benefit their reading skills.”He said the 591 pupils from Grade R to Grade 7 never had the opportunity to hold a new book before and MANCOSA’s sponsorship of mobile libraries and well-selected range of books bring immense joy to the pupils.“Thank you for the wonderful donation — we will treasure every book,” he said. For queries or additional information call 031 300 7200, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website www.mancosa.co.za — Supplied.