The importance of reading is no secret, it has always been highlighted in the education system. Reading helps to expand knowledge, vocabulary, and understanding. One’s level of literacy also determines their economic and social development. When your reading ability declines, so too does your ability to learn.
In South Africa, there is a major literacy crisis. A lack of basic reading and writing skills is primarily caused by shortcomings in the education system, as well as a deficit in available resources. Simply put, without books, you cannot read. It is of utmost importance that children are encouraged to read at as early an age as possible. If we can alleviate the issue of illiteracy from a young age, then naturally, the adult literacy statistics will change for the better. Being literate can work towards lifting a person out of poverty, as well as give them more opportunities for employment.
10000STRONG recently hosted a Book Donation Drive, where people could donate pre-loved books appropriate for school children aged 4 to 18 years. An incredible amount of over 350 books were donated. We restored the books by covering them in plastic and created a simple library system for the books to be enjoyed by the learners. Amongst these books were some of our personal favourites, including well-loved books such as Charlotte’s Web, The Famous Five series, and some educational books such as dictionaries and first readers for the younger learners.
These books were donated just after World Book Day, which was held on the 4th of March, to two of our partner schools in KwaNgcolosi, one being a high school and one a primary school. Along with the beautifully restored books, we were also able to donate six custom-built bookshelves, gifted by KS Shopfitters.
We hope that the little library we created can be enjoyed by learners and teachers for years to come and that this works towards encouraging reading and literacy within these schools.
Rianka van Antwerpen