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City celebrates National Book Week with the youth


Monday saw the City’s Library and Information Service celebrate National Book Week (NBW) to promote indigenous language storytelling at its public libraries, particularly among the youth.

Every year, the City of Johannesburg’s Library and Information Service, a unit of the City’s Community Development Department, uses NBW to spread the enjoyment, value and magic gained from reading books and help make South Africa a reading nation.

NBW is an initiative of the national Department of Arts and Culture, South African Book Development Council and SABC Foundation.

Maryna Moolman, the Library and Information Service’s Operational Manager: Community Advancement Services, says the City has been distributing word-building card game, Wordathon. It encourages word play, which not only develops vocabulary, spelling and diction skills but also empowers learners from under-resourced communities where English is not a first language. Several correctional facilities in Johannesburg will also receive a set of the game to enhance reading skills among offenders and assist in their rehabilitation.
Book culture ambassadors also visited the Diepsloot Library in Diepsloot West in Johannesburg’s Region A, where more than 150 children enjoyed a storytelling session in several South African indigenous languages to promote reading as a positive and rewarding activity for lifelong learning. The service has also launched an educational word-building card game to cultivate the culture of reading.

Statistics from a study conducted in 2007 reveal that only 5% of South African parents read to children. They also show that only 14% of them read books and that more than 51% of households don’t have a single leisure reading book.