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UD-Express
Reading a game-changer for education

IN a country where nearly 80% of Grade 4 learners cannot read with comprehension in any language, including their home language, there is one day on the international calendar that deserves every educator, parent and child’s attention: World Read Aloud Day.

This statement is according to READ Educational Trust who also said, “The child who grows up to read with understanding, is set on a sure path to success.”

Therefore World Read Aloud Day, annually celebrated on the first Wednesday of February, advocates access to literacy and diverse stories, as well as the power of reading aloud, an activity that has an immensely powerful impact on children’s development.

At Vérité Primary School, children participated in this day by reading the story “A day to remember” by writer Lorato Trok. The story is about a child with a kite.

“Learners were identified as characters from the story to make the story come alive. As English is our school’s second language, the characters were used for learners not only to hear the words, but to see the context in which the words were used,” said Vérité educator Carmen Gertze.

Reading aloud promotes a stronger vocabulary, as one of the main ways in which children hone their language skills is through listening.

South African organisation Nal’ibali is built on the simple logic that a well-established culture of reading can be a real game-changer for education in South Africa. The organisation believes that literacy skills are a strong predictor of future academic success in all subjects.

In addition children who regularly read and hear engaging stories, in languages they understand, are better equipped and motivated to learn to read and write.

  • Each year Nal’ibali celebrates World Read Aloud Day by issuing a brand-new children’s story in all 11 official languages for caregivers across the country to read aloud to their children.
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