Nal’ibali,anational reading-for-enjoyment campaign, celebrated World Read Aloud Day at Montagu’s Gift Primary School
affectionately known as Monty’s in Lotus River earlier this month.
Fourteen pupils were chosen to read aloud to the school as part of the programme on Thursday February 1. Eight of the pupils read in Afrikaans and six in English, while principal Reginald Gabriel joined the activities to play the part of a father in a story.
More than 750 pupils gathered in the school quad for the event.
Their hands eagerly shot in the air when librarians Kim Albertyn and Gadija Stuurman-Cozyn, from Grassy Park library, asked questions about the stories which had been read by their classmates.
Mr Gabriel said there was a need to boost the pupils’ literacy levels.
“The children do not practise reading at home and cannot read well for their age. We are trying to get the children to find an interest in reading and fall in love with reading. Without reading you would not be able to do any subject including maths and science. Children need to learn to read for understanding,” he said.
Shariff Adams, a member of NPO Wordworks, which focuses on early language and literacy development in the first eight years of children’s lives, said: “Reading is extremely important,. Reading and writing goes hand in hand, if a child cannot read he or she cannot learn”.
Mr Adams said it was a “teeth grinding” experience when he first started volunteering at the school but now the kids show him respect as he respects them.
Aleta Frans has been a volunteer at Montagu’s Gift Primary School for four years and runs a Read with a Difference project, where she helps Grade 3 to 7 pupils to read and teaches them the importance of reading.
Ms Frans said reading is the foundation to developing a successful pupil.
“I have discovered that the main problem with drop-
outs is because children cannot read. It is important for children to learn how to read properly in primary school so that by the time they att-
end high school they are able to do good in school. I