Monday 6 September 2021
Save the Children South Africa and Nal’ibali partner for Literacy Week
Literacy holds the key for education and employment success. In 2016 we saw that 78% of Grade 4s could not read for meaning in South Africa in any language. This situation is further deteriorating by additional factors coming into play. We know that children are currently experiencing up to a year of learning losses due to school disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional compounding factors include civil unrest, damage to schools, and destruction to libraries as we have recently seen in KwaZulu-Natal. The implication of this is that our children have less opportunities to boost their literacy.
If we want to give our children the best chance at success, we all have to help them. Literacy development is not something that only happens inside school walls. We all have the power to kick start their literacy development again. Reading is a fun activity that transports you to another world and opens up your mind and imagination. We can start this process early by reading with children who are too young to read or who are still learning. During this shared activity we have a chance to connect, have fun and improve our mental wellness that has been declining since the pandemic struck.
Reading has no boundaries and can be done at any age. Early childhood development, specifically emergent literacy (getting ready to read skills), is important for building the skills that develop later in life. Our current education context is in crises and our children’s futures are at risk. We can all play a role in supporting them to succeed.
So, let’s get Reading!
Early literacy is key to safeguarding the future of South Africa and to supporting children’s growth and success, so that they are able to reach their full potential capacity and achieve their dreams. This year, during Literacy Week 2021, Save the Children South Africa and Nal’ibali are joining hands to make reading fun while helping to build our children’s future!
Stories written by South African authors, such as “Snails have feelings, too” and “Prince Sugar and Awande, the baker” are contextually relevant and available in multiple languages.
This Literacy Week, from 6-12 September, visit Nal’ibali at https://nalibali.org , choose a story that you love and read with your child, siblings and children in your community. Share your stories online on Instagram using #SaveWithStoriesSA and #LiteracyWeek21, and let’s start a reading revolution from our own homes.