As part of its 2014 Read to Me: Every Day drive, the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign is calling on adults to play a fundamental role in their children’s literacy development by pledging #Just15Minutes of reading and sharing stories with their children every day.
“Reading to children can’t just happen just once or twice. We need to read to our children every day if we want them to learn that reading can be an enjoyable and entertaining activity. Knowing this is what inspires them to want to read − and then to read more and more. This is how they establish a satisfying, lifelong relationship with books and reading,” explains Nal’ibali Content Manager, Arabella Koopman. “And, in addition to this benefit, there are lots of research studies to show that the more children read at home, the better they do at school.”
Another benefit of telling or reading stories, even for just 15 minutes each day with children, is that it can expose them to around 1 million written words in a year. Yet, according to the South African Book Development Council (SABDC), only 5% of parents in South Africa read to their children.
Starting on Children’s Day (1 June 2014) and running throughout Youth Month, parents and caregivers are encouraged to join together and pledge their 15 minutes either on the Nal’ibali web or mobi sites. There they will also be able to locate free reading and storytelling tips for children of all ages, as well as children’s stories and audio stories in a range of South African languages to support a daily tradition of reading and sharing stories at home.
Also in support of the drive, and to motivate even more adults to pledge their 15 minutes, Cambridge University Press (CUP) has donated R90 000 worth of book hampers. Once 90 000 minutes have been pledged, members of the public who have signed up to the drive stand the chance to win a share of these books.
Driven by the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (PRAESA), Nal’ibali was launched in 2012 to help create the conditions that support the initial and ongoing literacy learning of all South African children, irrespective of linguistic, cultural and class backgrounds.
“As we celebrate Nal’ibali’s second birthday this Youth Month, it is a great time to call on adults in South Africa to join in and celebrate tried and tested ways to influence children’s early literacy success and show children how precious they are to us,” says Carole Bloch, director of PRAESA.
“Escaping together into story-land, no matter how busy we are, means making time for them. ‘Come! Sit here with me and let’s see what this is all about,’ sends them a loving message. And the memory of spending relaxed and satisfying story times with you will stay with your children throughout their lives,” concludes Bloch.
To make your #Just15Minute pledge, click here.