By Tina Soetzenberg
The importance of reading can never be stressed enough, especially in a country where the majority of the people live in a continued cycle of poverty. Jacqueline Kennedy, the late wife of former American president, J.F Kennedy, once said, “There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” For all children living in disadvantaged communities, who grow up with the perceived idea that their world will remain small, a love of literacy will be the difference that will help enlarge their seemingly impossible dreams.
Literacy should always be treated as ‘food for thought’, nurturing growth of individuals and empowering them to bring about positive change within their own circumstances. During the month of September, also known as Literacy Month, South Africans and local charitable organisations are aiming to draw attention to the salience of literacy in a knowledge-hungry world.
An entire month dedicated to the promotion of literacy serves as an opportune time for non-profit organisations like READ Educational Trust, who have successfully promoted reading in South Africa for nearly four decades. Working broadly in the education and literacy sectors, READ facilitates educator training and provision of school resources. This is done through various projects and programmes, including school-based workshops, life-skills training, classroom support and mentoring.
The organisation also hosts a Readathon campaign, which has remained their pride and joy throughout the years. This year’s campaign will include fun workshops that will be hosted countrywide, throughout September. This will be the fourth year that READ’s Readathon Red Reading Box will form an integral part of activities and through this initiative, over 12 000 children will be reached.
The Red Reading Box is filled to the brim with board games, interesting stories of various genres, puzzles, things to make, and all items required to complete every activity. The box has proved invaluable over the years, successfully getting children excited about reading. The contents of the box are suitable for primary school learners from Grade four, right through to those in high school.
Every year, a special theme is dedicated to the Red Reading Box. This year’s theme, celebrates the countless treasures we’re surrounded by. A Treasure Book is filled with stories, riddles, word games, pop-ups and more. The Treasure Journal is set to encourage learners to get creative and work on their own stories and ideas. Then there’s the exciting Treasure Hunt board game as well as a pack of 54 playing cards: Treasure Playing Cards, which encourage an increase in vocabulary. A Treasure Poster and a Treasury of Stories completes the enriching line-up in this year’s Readathon Red Reading Box.
Parents and teachers are all welcome to purchase a Readathon Red Reading Box for only R250. All the profits made through the box will go to READ’S programmes in disadvantaged communities all over South Africa, encouraging the sheer joy of picking up a book, and reading!