Library makes reading a breeze

2017-11-21 06:01
Learners of Seaview Primary School with the Read to Rise team.

Learners of Seaview Primary School with the Read to Rise team.

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Authors, librarians and reading organisations gathered at the Town Centre Library on Wednesday last week for a special event to honour those who help to promote literacy.

“Literacy and reading are incredibly important in terms of a child’s success. Reading helps us grow and develop skills and we must celebrate the heroes who inspire and encourage reading. We thank the literacy activists within the community who selflessly give of their time to help our children hone their reading skills,” says JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security, and social services.

Gadija Sydow and Erfaan Dollie were honoured for their reading programme at Seaview Primary School’s library, which entails reading intervention classes for more than 280 learners.

These interventions include poetry and spelling bee clubs, a young authors’ club and learning how to read through singing.

“The success rate of the programme has been extraordinary as it encourages children to read with comprehension and recognise new words,” says school principal Denzel Smith.

The school library in Rocklands was started with 36 books at its inception and now boasts more than 5000 books donated by various organisations.

The non-profit organisation Read to Rise, which promotes youth literacy in schools, was represented by Roscoe Williams, Athol Williams, Taryn Lock and their team at the event.

They believe children need to read to progress in their personal development and contribution to society. Children who love reading excel at school and go on to become constructive members of society.

Read to Rise aims to address the reality that children are not reading as much as they need for their educational development. According to the organisation, children in the foundational phase should be reading about 40 books per year, but in underresourced communities children are reading only one or two books per year.

Popular author, television host and foodie Fatima Sydow was also honoured. She and her twin sister Gadija are filming their second season of the TV series Kaap, kerrie en koesisters.

“Literacy is a tool for empowerment and unlocks a door to learning that, once opened, can never be closed again. Cultivating a love for reading allows children to access information and engage with others in a manner that can broaden horizons and present new and different opportunities. I want to encourage parents to enrol their children at their local library from a young age. Read to them and be a literacy activist in your home,” says Smith.

“Reading is a fundamental skill that feeds our intellect, expands our world and fires our imagination. When we share and encourage a love for reading, we are opening up the world to our children. For this, I salute our literacy activists who make a tangible difference in the lives of the children who attend the programmes.”

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