World Read Aloud Day to reach 3 million children in SA

World Read Aloud Day. Picture: City of Cape Town

World Read Aloud Day. Picture: City of Cape Town

Published Feb 4, 2024


Cape Town - World Read Aloud Day (WRAD) is expected to reach 3 million children across the country.

The City of Cape Town’s libraries will be hosting special programmes, which will be taking place with their Nal’ibali.

WRAD will be celebrated on Wednesday, when children are encouraged to read and dream as reading takes you on adventures.

The day also focuses on the importance of reading, which broadens literacy and vocabulary and where stories are shared.

WRAD was founded by LIT World in 2010 as a celebration of reading aloud.

Nal’ibali are the drivers of the project in South Africa and each year, they set a national target.

Patricia van der Ross, Mayco member for Community Services and Health, said that this year, the goal was for all participants, including parents and caregivers, to read to at least three million children across the country.

The City’s Library and Information Services is one of the key partners in the initiative.

“One of our aims is to develop a culture of reading among our children and it starts with hearing stories being read out loud. Listening to a story does more than take you on an adventure, you have to imagine,” said Van der Ross.

“Reading aloud develops listening skills, models the use of language, and improves vocabulary and comprehension. t also motivates young children to read for themselves.”

“City libraries will offer storytelling sessions and in some suburbs, librarians will go out to areas where young children are not able to visit the library on their own,” Van der Ross said.

World Read Aloud Day. Picture: City of Cape Town

The City’s flagship event will take place at the Green Point Urban Park, where 200 children, who have been invited, will listen to stories by several storytellers.

To pledge your support and to download stories which can be read out loud on the day, visit the Nal’ibali website at

“Finding time in to read aloud to our a challenge.

“I want to encourage parents and caregivers to start this WRAD with one story,” Van der Ross said.

“We often highlight the many benefits of reading to children and bonding with your child is only one.

It’s an investment in their education and future, which only costs some of your time.”

Visit your nearest library to find out what they are doing for WRAD or go to

Weekend Argus