Bedtime, bath time, even catching a moment during playtime. Any time is a good time for a story.
ALSO READ: Vusimuzi author talks about the relationship of literature and society
World Read Aloud Day (WRAD), which was observed on February 3, is dedicated to raising awareness about the value of reading aloud and sharing stories, as well as advocating for literacy as a human right.
WRAD was founded in 2010 by LitWorld, an NPO dedicated to the power of reading.
Consider a world in which every child, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or background, is gifted in literacy. The most effective method of developing children’s literacy is to read to them.
Children’s books educate little ones to dream big and to remember that those dreams are always worth pursuing, regardless of setbacks.
They provide children with access to the world’s most enlightened wisdom. Books are the pinnacle of self-education and the pinnacle of self-empowerment.
Of course, we are all aware that books are only a small part of the much larger puzzle for happy, healthy children.
While books cannot change current conditions, they can assist youngsters in navigating them.
Books have traditionally served as a gateway to the imagination, allowing young readers to discover new worlds, meet new characters, and go on adventures.
A lifetime journey begins with the turn of a page.
READ Educational Trust
READ Educational Trust was founded in 1979 and is an NPO that works extensively in the education and literacy sectors in South Africa.
READ collaborates with the Department of Education to bring teacher training and literacy initiatives to schools.
As part of WRAD, reading champions at schools, with the school, teachers and others, will celebrate WRAD by utilizing resources provided by a WhatsApp chatbot linked to Nal’ibali (isiXhosa for ‘here’s the story’), a national Reading-for- Enjoyment initiative aimed at igniting children’s potential through storytelling and reading.
This year, the NPO is commemorating the occasion with a brand-new special narrative, Mabel Mensa’s A Party In The Park.
The book has been translated into all 11 official languages of South Africa as well as six other languages, including Swahili, Shona, French, Chichewa, Portuguese and Lingala, in order to serve the country’s over two million foreign children nationals.
Families and members of the public are invited to join in on the day’s reading of the unique story aloud to children.
READ Educational Trust also offers an audiobook series that may be downloaded directly from the website at http://www.read.org.za/audio-books/, which parents, guardians, and elder siblings can play to their children. It’s an incredibly economical way to share stories with your family and closely resembles reading aloud.
Tell stories to each child
Reading aloud promotes children’s self-esteem, helps them manage better with anxiety, improves their memory, and widens their horizons.
It aids in the development of a healthy brain, which is essential for future success in school and beyond.
Handling books, naming books, understanding how stories operate, detecting sounds and letters, expanding vocabulary, and honoring listening abilities are all examples of early reading skills.
All of these are transmitted upon younger children when a caring adult or adolescent reads aloud to them.
We want to ensure all children, including those who may not have the means or money to purchase books right now, may experience the joy of reading.
That is why, in collaboration with grassroots community organizations across the country, we assist, when possible, with the distribution of free books to children who experience hardship.
The impact of Covid-19 on childhood literacy
Covid-19 has caused havoc on life as we know it, but the early childhood development sector has been particularly hard struck.
Following months of closure, only a small number of preschools, playgroups, and creches reopened for financial concerns.
The Reading Champions Program is a component of the Basic Education Employment Initiative, which is a component of the president’s wider employment stimulus known as the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative, which intends to aid the country’s efforts to boost economic recovery by increasing public employment and offering meaningful experimental learning opportunities for youth.
These opportunities may pave the road for future employment prospects, hence lowering young unemployment.
One of Covid-19’s most pernicious effects is an increase in unemployment, which will eventually result in higher poverty levels.
Now, more than ever, even the simplest activity like reading aloud to young children is priceless in this extraordinary context.
Visit www.read.org.za to find out more or join the conversation at www.facebook.com/READEduTrust
Also follow us on: