The Sunday Times has launched its third storybook as part of its literacy CSI project. Working with the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (Praesa), the Nal’ibali Storybook came to light at the annual Franschhoek Literary Festival with a reading held at the Dalubuhle Primary School in the winelands town. The event was attended by Western Cape MEC for education, Donald Grant.
“We have been fortunate to work with a number of talented South African authors and illustrators in putting together this magical collection of stories. A treasured storybook can be just the thing to spark a love of reading in children and this is precisely our intention – to skill children to become readers for life,” comments Patti McDonald, publisher of Times Media Education’s supplements.
The illustrated stories will be printed in all South Africas official languages, starting with English and followed with isiZulu and isiXhosa later this year. The storybooks are aimed at young children from Grade R to Grade 6 with the first 200 000 copies donated to schools, reading clubs, libraries and other NGO reading initiatives around the country.
“Books and stories deepen our thinking and understanding by stretching our imagination while encouraging creative problem-solving. To have stories that our children can relate to in their home languages is an invaluable asset that we need to keep growing in our country,” says Dr Carole Bloch, director of Praesa.
The Sunday Times has already produced two such storybooks and distributed two million copies of these to schoolchildren nationwide. Having received a generous donation from Mrs Coralie Rutherford this year, Times Media has been able to commission a new book and incorporate it as part of a joint literacy initiative with Praesa. The initiative, Nal’ibali, is a national reading-for-enjoyment campaign that supports bilingual literacy development and encourages parents and children to engage with each other through reading.