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Nal'ibali's Storyplay Co-ordinator, Nadia Lubowski, travelled to KwaZulu-Natal to train and support ECD practitioners in their implementation of the Storyplay approach. In this piece, she relays her personal and professional experience in helping spread the power of stories: We had been driving since 7am, we had visited six early childhood development (ECD) sites by mid-afternoon. My thoughts were meandering between endless questions and absorbing and experiencing...
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The dangers of the single story

Posted on
August, 25th 2015
Catherine Kell, Associate Professor of Linguistics specialising in literary studies at the University of the Western Cape, speaks to us about the danger of the single story and necessity of different narratives: A group of lees-mammies (reading-mommies) talked to me about story-telling in their lives when they were young children growing up on wine farms in the Western Cape where their parents worked as labourers....
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Omphile is a 13-year-old Grade 7 learner at Prinshof School for blind and visually imapired children. She has congenital glaucoma and therefore has limited eyesight. Omphile has always enjoyed reading – perhaps because everyone else in her family reads – and would like to encourage adults and older caregivers to help other blind or visually imapired children experience the joy she has found in...
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The healing power of stories

Posted on
August, 17th 2015
Reading and telling stories are important activities that encourage children to develop their imaginations,  excellent memories and increase their vocabularies. As part of our broader ‘Story Power’ campaign, we embarked on a two-day programme of  ‘Healing through Stories’ workshops designed to use stories – written, told and read – to help children to make sense of their hardships, in a fun environment where play...
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Women's month: Literacy superwomen

Posted on
August, 17th 2015
This Women’s Day we salute local librarians, teachers and literacy activists for being inspiring change-makers in their community. The literacy librarian: Edith Khuzwayo Edith Fezeka Khuzwayo, the Managing Librarian at the Murray Park Library in the City of Johannesburg, is one of those community members who should be celebrated not just on Women’s Day but every day of the year. In addition to managing the day-to-day running...
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Youth Month is a good time to reflect on the past. Our past. It is when we take a moment of silence to remember those who died to liberate us. It is important to remember. And stories are an essential part of remembering. Stories enable us to view past events as if we were part of it. As readers, we are able to step into...
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With US paediatricians now prescribing reading with children as part of their essential care, Malini Mohana speaks to local experts to see how they think the power of stories can shape children’s social, cognitive and emotional wellbeing. Storytelling is the primal way in which human beings organise and compartmentalise their experiences. We’re not just narrators of things that happen around us; we’re also the narrators...
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They're just words on a page, but books can take you places and open up worlds of wonder, enlightenment, and imagination for your children. This June, Gus Silber reflects on the role his own father played in shaping his future through books and stories and the power of parents to pass on this important tradition. I grew up in a house without walls, and a...
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In praise of reading aloud

Posted on
June, 14th 2015
South African author Linda Rode is well known in the children’s book world as an avid collector and lover of fairytales.  Having authored three prize-winning children’s books of her own, compiled and contributed to a further 12 children’s anthologies and translated numerous of books and stories for children, her storytelling style is perfect for reading aloud: Since it’ll be three to four years before the...
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How family storytelling helps us grow

Posted on
June, 14th 2015
Award-winning South African author Maxine Case reflects on the role of intergenerational storytelling in preserving family history and supporting children’s literacy development: During the school holidays, my sisters and I would join our cousins at our grandmother’s house. With 10 children underfoot, Ma had little time to devote to any of us, but she was fond of me. Like her, I was a bookworm. Ma knew...
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