Library honours children

Excited children could not wait for the ceremony to start and had big smiles on their faces.

Khulani library hosted a joyous prize-giving ceremony to express their sincere gratitude to those children who had been attending their programmes and were part of their book club.

A total of 30 children gathered at the library hall in Khayelitsha, on Thursday December 7, with their parents to attend the ceremony and were given goodie bags which contained stationery and reading material.

Best book borrower, most improved reader and most disciplined child were some of the prizes given out .

The aim of the ceremony was to motivate and encourage children to read books and visit the library daily.

The key message delivered to the children, and their parents, was that the role of the library was to assist pupils and students with their school work.

They said they wanted to applaud the children for participating in the library activities which aimed to stimulate growth.

Librarian at Khulani, Yandiswa Pearls it was important for them to acknowledge their children for being part of their activities.

But most importantly, she said, they wanted the children to understand the importance of education and how the library was assisting them.

She said it was not easy to attract children to their programmes, particularly the book club.

Ms Pearls said when they started the book club this year, they had about eight children who signed up and hoped that the number would increase, but it did not.

Instead, she said the number dwindled and eventually they started visiting all the nearby schools to recruit children and educate them about the importance of book

She said during their recruitment drive they discovered that some children did not know about the significance of a library while others had library cards but did not know what they should use them for.

She said through their programmes they wanted to equip children with information, skills and knowledge so that they could make well- informed life choices.

Ms Pearls said many children were roaming the streets after school because there were no extramural activities.

“We want them to feel special. We want them to see the value of education.

“This day is not about us, it’s about them.

“The library is there to make their lives easy and assist them in making their dreams a reality. We want them to take advantage of all the services offered at the library. We want to make an impact in their education,” she said.

Ms Pearls said moulding children into becoming responsible and caring citizens needs everyone’s intervention.

She said they wanted to reverse the notion that township children were lazy and reluctant to read books.

She urged parents to encourage their children to read and also read stories to them to expand their knowledge while improving their vocabulary.

Founder and director of Ikusasa Lethu Tutoring Organisation, Sisonke Mengcane, said they run their library book club because their main focus was to improve literacy.

He said the organisation’s main aim was to help children and pupils to improve their academic performance.

Mr Mengcane said they wanted to produce young people who were critical thinkers and loved books.

He said they wanted to inculcate a culture of reading among young people.

He said they partnered with the library in an effort to make a meaningful contribution towards community upliftment.

“We want to improve literacy. We want young people who are passionate about reading books,” he said.

Mr Mengcane said their biggest highlight was to see children who were unable to read become fluent readers after attending their book club sessions.