“Reading and sharing stories with children is one of the most powerful gifts you can give them. Not only does it help to develop children’s literacy skills, but it also fires up those parts of the brain concerned with imagination, emotion and movement. Ultimately, it helps to create the neural circuits that enable sophisticated thinking and reasoning, helping children to do well at school,” says Nal’ibali CEO, Yandiswa Xhakaza.
This festive season, Nal’ibali, the national reading-for-enjoyment campaign, has teamed up with CNA stores to bring the much-loved children stories they are well-known for to the retail market in a limited-edition box set. This exciting set features four volumes, each containing five stories like Sisanda’s Gift by Gcina Mhlophe and The Farmer and his Family by Shasha Seakamela. It will be available in all 11 official languages of South Africa for the low price of R90,95 per set in select CNA stores from December.
Nal’ibali believes in the power of stories to not only entertain but to stir up dreams and hope for children. Every child deserves the chance to have regular access to inspiring stories. When children are regularly exposed to great and well-told stories in languages they understand, they are motivated to learn to read and write themselves. And children who regularly read for pleasure perform better in the classroom, across all subjects, regardless of their socio-economic standing.
Unfortunately, many children miss out on this opportunity to fall in love with books and reading. Inaccessibility, affordability and availability of books and stories are the key barriers. Nal’ibali strives to overcome these through the provision of free stories on wide-reaching platforms like radio and its popular bilingual newspaper supplement which it distributes to its network of reading club and literacy partners nationwide and the public through its partnership with popular newspapers.
This partnership with CNA stores will enable Nal’ibali to continue providing access to free stories for fun reading, as all the proceeds from the purchases will go back into the organisation to create more much-needed multilingual children’s stories.
“We are inviting caregivers to support us on this venture by giving the gift of stories this festive season, through purchasing the limited-edition box set. On the one hand, families will be able to enjoy affordable stories from well-sourced South African authors and illustrators. While at the same time children across the country will have the opportunity to access free stories through the money raised from the proceeds,” says Xhakaza.
For more information about the Nal’ibali campaign and its limited-edition book boxset, or to see a list of participating CNA stores, visit www.nalibali.org.