Celebrating a year of driving literacy in their community, partners in a Masiphumelele network of reading clubs gathered at Masiphumelele Library to recognise a year of sharing stories with children.
“When children read for enjoyment, not only is their emotional well-being enhanced, but their chances of success at school are improved, irrespective of their social or economic backgrounds,” explains Thulisa Mayekiso, the literacy mentor who oversees Nal’ibali’s network of reading clubs in the Masiphumelele area.
Nal’ibali reading clubs offer children and their caregivers a space where they can read, tell stories, talk about what they are reading and get tips on how to read and share stories at home in both English and home languages. It is also an opportunity to meet with others in the area.
“We started from humble beginnings in 2013 with just three children, but with more children joining each week the need to accommodate them in appropriate spaces became a pressing concern that required the support of partners,” says Mayekiso.
Now, having collaborated with Rotary, Ukhanyo Primary School and Masiphumelele Library, who are running their own clubs with Nal’ibali’s support, the partners have grown the Masiphumelele club base to 41; reaching as many as 967 children each week.
Run in schools, early childhood development centres and the library, the clubs form part of Nal’ibali’s network of over 700 reading clubs across the country.
Susan Alexander, senior librarian at Masiphumelele Library, says: “Libraries are about reading and stories and Nal’ibali fits this perfectly. Our staff have benefited greatly from Nal’ibali’s training, and it is also important for the community to have Nal’ibali at the library, as, without their input, stories and storytelling would not have as much impact.”