Reading helps kids to listen and focus

Nal''ibali's Ntombizanele Mahobe telling a story to children.

A massive reading revolution took over Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres in Khayelitsha onThursday February 16, as part of the World Read Aloud Day.

Aiming at reaching at least half a million children and raise awareness about the importance of reading aloud in children’s literacy development with caregivers across the country, the national Nal’ ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign read aloud with thousands of children who gathered at different venues.

At the Harare library alone, 400 children and their teachers gathered to read for an hour, with help at hand to assist children to read in their mother tongue.

Nal’ ibali co-ordinator Monica Khewana stressed the importance of reading and telling children stories and urged parents to play a special role in their children’s education.

She added that she was happy to see carers and volunteers working with children.

“We are busy with children in most areas. Our workers and volunteers are today working hard to develop these children. They are all over the place. This is touching to see many of these children so inspired. You can see they are willing to learn from us,” she said.

She said teaching children to read in any language greatly impacted their performance at school. However, she said, it was especially important for them to read material in their mother tongue. The caregivers present welcomed the reading project, with Little Leaders caregiver Nosivuyise Magushane emphasising that reading helped develop children’s minds.

“We are elated to be part of this reading project. This helps children learn to listen, focus and concentrate. Reading develops them. If parents can help them at home as well, our children will have a greater future,” she said.

Ms Magushane encouraged other caregivers to make a habit of reading to children and said it should be at the ECDs where children get to read more.

“That would be a good foundation for them. Should they start now and listen and focus now, it will mean they have a great future ahead. Their teachers at primary school level would get them ready. Parents should really be more involved,” she said.