TO encourage reading in schools Nal’ibali has extended its Story Powered Schools (SPS) Project to cater for over 200 rural schools in Eastern Cape.
The three year project which aims to work with about 244 schools in places such as Bizana, Lusikisiki, Mount Ayliff and Maluti district in the Eastern Cape as well as UMgungundlovu and iLibembe district in KwaZulu Natal.
SPS Programme Manager, Michael Cekiso, said there was a shortage of storybooks and reading materials in rural schools and the project aims to help with training, mentorship and regular visits to encourage reading at these schools.
“Access to books and stories in children’s home languages is critical to their school success. Literacy underpins all school learning and children who do not develop strong language skills in their mother tongue often struggle in all subjects. For many children these will be the only storybooks they see throughout the year and we have carefully selected stories in a wide variety of styles to excite and entertain them,” he explained.
He added that with the help of educators, learners and community members, the project had reached up to 100 000 children and they have set up about 800 reading clubs.
“This year we are excited to spread this love of reading with even more children and caregivers and continue to ignite a love of reading in communities in remote areas. And ensuring that the story-power stays within local communities, this year’s hanging libraries have been created in collaboration with Cintsa-based women’s sewing group. This has been facilitated through craft and gift company, I Left My Heart in Africa, which aims to provide job opportunities for women,” said Cekiso.
To ensure that children are able to benefit from the books provided, the project will be training principals and teachers of the foundation and intermediate phase. The project will also be handing over mobile libraries to go along with South African Library Week this month.