Encouraging children to read

Members of Eyentsatshane For The Little Early Childhood Development Project together with various stakeholders walked around the streets of Khayelitsha to promote reading aloud.

Children and members of Eyentsatshane For The Little Early Childhood Development Project held a walk in the streets of Khayelitsha last Wednesday, January 23, to raise awareness about the importance of reading aloud.

The organisation was supported by Kulani library, Lingelethu
police station, Lingelethu Traffic Centre and Khayelitsha primary schools.

The walk took place from Kulani library and went down Makabeni Road to the Bonginkosi ECD.

The participants, including the children, carried placards bearing messages that promotes and highlights the importance of reading books on a regular basis.

The organisation aims to bring a different approach and create an alternative space for children to learn about the various ways of mastering languages and reading.

They said they had evaluated the weaknesses and strengths of how many organisations had been approaching the promotion of reading.

The organisation hopes to make reading a more fun and happy activity as opposed to something serious and boring.

Director Thanduxolo Mkhoyi believes that campaigns to promote reading aloud must not only be promoted on World Read Aloud Day, which takes place tomorrow, Friday February 1.

He said children should be encouraged to read every day.

If parents, teachers and caregivers read aloud to their children daily for a year those children would be exposed to millions of words.

When children learn more words their vocabulary improves.

Mr Mkhoyi said when one reads often their ability to formulate arguments increases and they gain confidence.

He said reading helps children to listen attentively and improves their ability to read and write
with understanding, which was one of the main goals of the organisation.

“We want to introduce a culture of reading books to the youth. We are here to promote reading. We want to make reading fun yet educational. We have a crisis where a number of children are illiterate and we want to change that. We are here to contribute towards the development of languages,” he said.

Khulani librarian, Yandiswa Pearls, shared the same sentiment, saying reading plays a vital role in the development of children.

Ms Pearls said children who start reading early in their lives begin to read with understanding and this is the key to learning.

She said the biggest challenge was that many parents did not bother to read books to their children or at least encourage them to read.

Ms Pearls urged parents to play an active role in promoting reading and conducting storytelling sessions just like in the olden days where parents told their children old folk-tales.

She said various libraries had book clubs which were solely aimed at highlighting the key positive factors of reading.