South Africa: Mobile libraries donated

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Staff Reporter

The Kgato Primary School in Bloemfontein has received a donation of seven mobile libraries to help improve learning and teaching at the school.

The donation is with the courtesy of Novus Holdings in partnership with the New Africa Education Foundation (NAEF). Novus Holdings is a leading commercial printing and manufacturing company, while the NAEF is a non-profit organisation.

The libraries are part of the two donors’ community social investment programme. Through the libraries they are hoping to build a world where every child can fulfil their potential.

These libraries were officially handed over to the school on Tuesday, 20 November.

The donation at Kgato coincided with World Children’s Day on 20 November.

The libraries are fitted with wheels and can be wheeled from one classroom to another.

The donation of the libraries is part of the Read to Lead campaign, aimed at improving literacy levels across South Africa.

To date, this initiative has seen more than 27 mobile libraries donated to selected schools in KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, the Western Cape and the Free State.

The libraries are a project by Future Foundations, a Novus Holdings CSI initiative. The Future Foundation’s mission is to transform communities by making a sustainable difference with a special focus on education.

“Reports show that learners who read for pleasure are on average one and a half grades ahead of their peers. We hope that these mobile libraries will inspire a love of reading in children, and thereby foster their potential,” said Carrie Nixon, corporate communications manager at Novus Holdings.

Nixon said research indicated that access to libraries improved learner performance and increased their chances of fulfilling their potential.

“Research done by the University of the Free State in 2014 on schools in rural areas proved that children from primary schools who had access to mobile libraries showed a vast improvement in their reading and speaking capabilities.

“In addition, it is widely believed that literacy is one of the indicators of prosperous nations,” said Nixon.

A study published in 2016, “The World’s Most Literate Nations”, ranks countries on their literate behaviors using various criteria, with one criteria being access to libraries. South Africa came in the position of 51,5, with the best ranking being 1 and the worst 61.

“Access to books is key in having a more literate nation. It is crucial that we promote reading in schools, especially as access to reading material is fundamental to improving literacy. The Read to Lead campaign will go a long way in bridging this gap,” said Ahmed Motala, chief executive at the NAEF.

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