Cape Town - The Cape Argus in partnership with Milnerton Primary School and Jan van Riebeeck Primary School will be launching a winter challenge to encourage a culture of reading in children and advocate the importance of reading in childhood development, in the form of a book drive this month.
The schools will be assisting the challenge by collecting and donating books towards the Amathemba Special Needs School, a project by Home of Hope, on Friday and the Homestead Project for Street Children on June 30.
With its own culture of literacy, Milnerton Primary School principal Warick Middleton said the school celebrated the reading milestones of its learners and recognised the importance of cultivating a culture of reading in others.
“There are two very simplistic aspects to this drive, you’re creating an opportunity for children that may not have access to books and with this access, we are empowering them with the power of words through this wonderful shared learning tool and experience,” said Middleton.
Amathemba principal Kim Fernandez said Home of Hope provided care services to abandoned, abused and neglected children that were affected by Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. The books donated will be used not only for school purposes, but will also play such an huge role in the children’s home life as they grow older.
“At Amathemba we have found that there’s a huge difference in the children that come from Home of Hope, where we start stimulating activities like reading from a young age, versus children coming straight from impoverished communities that haven’t had any sort of stimulation until they are of school going age (five years old),” said Fernandez.
Homestead Project director Nqaba Mathe said: “Once children run to the streets for survival, they are exposed to harmful situations that damage them both emotionally and psychologically, which is why we have trained professionals to assist them with all their rehabilitative needs.
“These books, especially storytelling books, and the opportunities that come with them, will benefit our children that come from these harsh realities. These book donations will assist to better prepare them for mainstream school,” said Mathe.
Cape Argus Editor Aziz Hartely said: “As a newspaper, we are pleased to hear the positive efforts made by these schools and its learners to encourage reading among others.”
Donations can be dropped off from Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 4pm at Home of Hope (3 Fairbridge Road, Table View) and at the Homestead Project (150 Strand Street).