Aimed at addressing the literacy crisis in South Africa, Nal'ibali, isiXhosa for "Here's the story", is a colourful publication that is intended to help spark a love of reading in homes and communities across the country. Readers of The Times, The Daily Dispatch
and the Herald
who might not use the supplements are encouraged to pass them on and share them with those who will.
The supplement is one of the core aspects of the Nal'ibali National Reading for Enjoyment Initiative, started through collaboration between The Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (PRAESA) and Avusa Media.
The supplement contains stories to read aloud and to read alone, related activities as well as information and tips for adults about reading clubs and sharing and enjoying books with children. It will be a regular resource to enable families at home to have fun story times with children and will also support the growth of reading clubs in South Africa.
Says Dr Carole Bloch, director of PRAESA: "Reading and storytelling become personally meaningful when people have opportunities to experience the satisfaction and power of words in print. On one hand, children thrive on the attention and emotional and intellectual nurturing they get when adults connect with them through stories.
"On the other, adults can't help but appreciate how clever their children actually are as they see for themselves how language and intelligence unfolds. The initiative aims to offer this to everyone by ensuring that appropriate African language and English reading material is widely available."
To inspire ongoing involvement in reading clubs, a series of training workshops are being offered by the PRAESA team in partnership with other organisations in the four provinces. Participants will be mentored in reading, writing and storytelling activities and Avusa Media will share its expertise on how to make the most of newspapers for reading culture development.
A website and other social media platforms will offer a truly South African resource with information, stories and video material to support the initiative. The process of setting up and running demonstration reading clubs to inspire and motivate others to get involved, will be researched and monitored.