Inculcating a culture of reading among children

Women were taught how to make puppets, clothes books and cardboard books by Josephine Nathan-Amordien.

The Early Learning Resource Unit (ELRU) together with the Centre for the Book, celebrated International Literacy Day in Langa on Thursday September 8, by distributing tons of books to early childhood centres.

September the 8th is proclaimed International Literacy Day with the aim of highlighting the importance of literacy to individuals and communities.

Under the theme “Reading the past, writing the future”, the organisations distributed books to 20 ECDs.

The organisations marched through the streets of Langa from one ECD to another all in the name of promoting reading.

To the amazement of residents, drum majorettes hit the streets to bring them to life.

ELRU said it focused on promoting literacy at ECDs and instilling a culture of reading among children, their parents and communities.

Terrence November, project co-ordinator at ELRU, believes the campaign will encourage thousands of young and old people to read. “We have three programmes that focus on literacy and encouraging parents to also promote reading. We have family and community motivator (FCM), Hlumisa Playgroup and the Whole Centre Development programmes. They all focus on promoting reading and doing things together. FCM brings quality ECD programmes directly to parents and caregivers. This is a programme where we empower community workers to enter households and support families in the early 1000 days when the foundations of learning take place. We are proud to have these programmes to promote health and reading and many other important issues.”

Mr November urged parents to make reading with their children part of a daily routine.

“Parents should (prioritise) reading with their children. Carers at crèches should make it a norm to read with children, tell stories and read with them. We all should prioritise reading with children. The reason is that we delivered books to 20 ECDs, we want a reading nation,” he said.

He said literacy is a critical component for our country.

He called on parents and other institutions to help schools and crèches with books.

FCM project co-ordinator Brinthia Dawood reiterated the need to create a reading routine for children so they know they should read at a particular time of the day. She said telling stories is crucial to children.

“We came to Langa today to do storytelling, make cardboard books and make puppets for children to promote the reading culture. But again to show the caregivers that they can make clothes books and cardboard books for children. This will help create a reading routine and create knowledge among them,” she said.

The excited Langa-based ELRU centre manager, Thandeka Dliso, said they try to get their children hooked on reading by telling stories.

“Reading, telling stories is what we strive for. We at all times encourage parents, especially mothers, to communicate with their children as early as possible. We encourage them to read to them as early as possible. So we are happy to be among the book beneficiaries,” she said.