EL kids hear special story

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World Read Aloud Day is aimed at encouraging literacy

SHARING MAGIC: Abongile Davani, a voluntary social worker, writer and organiser of the reading programme for the Sunshine Place children’s home, celebrates World Read Aloud Day last week with the youngsters Picture: THANDEKA NTLONTI

WORLD Read Aloud Day, a day that motivates children, teens and even adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words was celebrated in East London too.

Voluntary social worker, activator, writer and organiser of the event for the Sunshine Place Ukukhanya programme, Abongile Davani, said: “For me the day means rethinking the nature and purpose of education which is to promote reading with meaning and pleasure that is the skill that children need to learn at their primary level or rather during early childhood development.

“Apart from the obvious cognitive importance of learning to read, children who become novice readers within the first three years of primary school also have high levels of socio- emotional wellbeing stemming from improved self-expression and communication, as well as self-confidence that comes from cracking the difficulty of literacy activities.

“Unless these children crack the basic literacy activities from an early age, they will forever be disadvantaged.”

World Read Aloud Day, celebrated across the world, is aimed at creating a community of readers taking the time to show the world that the right to literacy belongs to all people.

“I think the initiative is a very good one,” said Child Welfare Director Soraya Leeuw.

“Children at the centre are exposed to a world of information and it ignites their imagination, something they have been deprived of due to their poor social backgrounds,” Leeuw said.

“It provides an opportunity for our children to learn to tell their own story, which is a very cathartic exercise.

“On an educational level, it increases their vocabulary, level of comprehension as well as their written work.”

Leeuw said: “I love reading as it is a time to bond with my children and at the same time instill the love of reading and the value of books.”

Stories read on the day were from Nal’ibali, a national reading-for-enjoyment campaign aimed at sparking children’s potential through storytelling and reading. The story of the day, The best sound in the world, captivated the little ones, who sat outside on the lawn at Sunshine Place to enjoy it.

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