Every year, the Department of Basic Education stresses the importance of early grade reading in an effort to encourage children to read.To support the government’s efforts, Seed of Hope will launch a book club to inspire and review books.
The non-profit organisation focuses on child and youth development through its programmes.The new book club will be one of many child and youth programmes introduced in Bhekulwandle, a community located south of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
Londiwe Myeza, the organisation’s Chief Executive Officer said the book club falls under Simunye, an after-school programme that is run by the organisation in the community for grades R to 7. The Simunye programme teaches learners critical thinking skills and how to creatively and imaginatively tackle decision making.
She noted the organisation has a small library that will become the home of the new book club. Children are already meeting monthly to read and review various books.
During the Launch of the National Reading Coalition in 2019, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said government was concerned about the inability of many learners to read for meaning, and this was one of the greatest challenges facing South Africa’s basic education.
“We must as a matter of urgency address the prevalence of poor comprehension of reading texts amongst a particular section of society,” said Motshekga.
The DBE advises parents to use the following tips as a way of spurring a love of reading in children:
Parents and guardians (who are literate) must read to children from when they are small, even before the can talk.
When children have learnt to read, every household should have at least half an hour reading time in the evening when everybody in the house, including adults, read for pleasure.
All children must have access to reading material, even newspapers. If they don’t, take them to the library.
If at all possible, provide a quiet and comfortable space for children to read.
Give children books as gifts, not just gadgets.