Making reading exciting

2019-09-17 06:01
Ridwan Samodien, principal of Kannemeyer Primary School.PHOTOS: lisa lottering

Ridwan Samodien, principal of Kannemeyer Primary School.PHOTOS: lisa lottering

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Kannemeyer Primary School principal, Ridwan Samodien, says he would do anything to develop a love for reading among learners.

The school opened its first red reading telephone booth on Friday 6 September.

According to Samodien there’s a perception that principals are failing their learners and he felt like he had the task of doing everything in his ability to develop a love for reading and understanding among the learners.

He says he saw a picture on social media of a booth and he could not get it out of his mind.

“I got in contact with one of our old learners and sent him the picture of the booth, and I guess, he also could not stop thinking about it either as he then manufactured the booth and donated one to the school,”

Emilé Coetzee, a learner who attended the school in 1976, says he spoke to Samodien who had this vision of promoting literacy. “Children don’t read anymore and we decided to build this booth to develop reading,” he says.

Coetzee, who works at Equip Set Construction, says the intention is to build a booth for every grade. “We want children to read because when we were at school, we couldn’t.”

Coetzee says the bigger picture is for this to catch on at other schools. “We want to start a reading revolution. Let’s motivate the learners and let’s make it easy for them to have access to books,” he says.

He added that he wants the learners to be able to read whenever they want to. He says he took on this challenge and is committed. “Even if it is not a booth, the purpose remains the same. We want to find ways to make reading exciting.” When the learners saw the booth, you could immediately see the excitement on their faces, he says adding that “they love it.”

The reading booth is located in the courtyard of the school and learners are welcome to collect a book to read while sitting on the benches.

Ashlyn Govender, one of the Grade 3B learners, says the reading booth has enabled her to learn more words. “When I read, I get better in reading. When I look at the booth it feels like a rainbow. The book booth gives me an imagination,” she says. Govender says the book booth also makes her feel like she’s in London.

Thaakir Ismail, another learner from the school, says he also enjoys the reading booth.

“It’s big and red and I am very happy about the booth,” says Ismail.

Samodien says the school is challenging the alumni to pay it forward so that the school can provide even more book booths for learners. “We are challenging our former learners to do so whether it is through donating a book, spend time reading to the learners or any other donation.”

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