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Literacy: Hand puppets bring a story to life

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A group of student teachers at Despatch Preparatory with the hand puppets they made for the “Literacy Revolution” project. In front from left areLeonné Herridge, Tashrika Lombard, Madelie van Jaarsveld, Neevra Bellingan, Vanessa Maarman, Shenel van Rensburg. At the back are Kayleigh Leonard, Ansie Harvey, Marinel Botha, Asja Strydom, Natasha van Tonder and Madeléne Sachse (principal at Despatch Preparatory School).                                                                                PHoto:HEILIE COMBRINCK
A group of student teachers at Despatch Preparatory with the hand puppets they made for the “Literacy Revolution” project. In front from left areLeonné Herridge, Tashrika Lombard, Madelie van Jaarsveld, Neevra Bellingan, Vanessa Maarman, Shenel van Rensburg. At the back are Kayleigh Leonard, Ansie Harvey, Marinel Botha, Asja Strydom, Natasha van Tonder and Madeléne Sachse (principal at Despatch Preparatory School). PHoto:HEILIE COMBRINCK

HAND puppets are an excellent tool to help stimulate the imagination of young minds, mainly because it helps them to experience the magic of story book heroes turning into real life, tangible, relatable characters . This in turn helps to create a love for reading.

With the above serving as strong motivation, Asja Strydom, a Grade 3 educator and head of department at Despatch Preparatory School as well as secretary of the Eastern Cape Literacy Association of South Africa (LITASA) decided to start with the production of hand puppets as part of the school’s “Literacy Revolution.”

“Let’s face it, school reading can be boring. Children sometimes do not understand books, they are not involved. They do not want to be part of the story. But hand puppets have a massive impact. The moment you bring a story to life with these puppets ... magic happens,” Asja Strydom explained.

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