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Anytime Is A Good Time For A Book Or Story!

World Read Aloud Day (WRAD), which is observed on 3 February 2022, is dedicated to raising awareness about the value of reading aloud and sharing stories, as well as advocating for literacy as a human right. WRAD was founded in 2010 by LitWorld, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the power of reading.

Bedtime, bath time, even catching a moment during play time... any time is a good time for a story!

World Read Aloud Day (WRAD), which is observed on 3 February 2022, is dedicated to raising awareness about the value of reading aloud and sharing stories, as well as advocating for literacy as a human right. WRAD was founded in 2010 by LitWorld, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the power of reading.

Consider a world in which every child, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or background, is gifted in literacy. The most effective method of developing children's literacy is to read to them. Children's books educate little ones to dream big and to remember that those dreams are always worth pursuing, regardless of setbacks. They provide children with access to the world's most enlightened wisdom. Books are the pinnacle of self-education and the pinnacle of self-empowerment.

Of course, we are all aware that books are only a small part of the much larger puzzle for happy, healthy children. While books cannot change current conditions, they can assist youngsters in navigating them. Books have traditionally served as a gateway to the imagination, allowing young readers to discover new worlds, meet new characters, and go on adventures. A lifetime journey begins with the turn of a page.

READ Educational Trust

READ Educational Trust was founded in 1979 and is a NPO that works extensively in the education and literacy sectors in South Africa. READ collaborates with the Department of Education to bring teacher training and literacy initiatives to schools.

As part of World Read Aloud Day, Reading Champions at schools (along with the school, teachers, and others) will celebrate WRAD by utilising resources provided by a WhatsApp chatbot linked to Nal'ibali (isiXhosa for 'here's the story') - a national Reading-for-Enjoyment initiative aimed at igniting children's potential through storytelling and reading.

This year, the NGO is commemorating the occasion with a brand-new special narrative, Mabel Mensa's A Party In The Park. The book has been translated into all 11 official languages of South Africa as well as six other languages, including Swahili, Shona, French, Chichewa, Portuguese, and Lingala, in order to serve the country's over two million foreign children nationals.

Families and members of the public are invited to join in on the day's reading of the unique story aloud to children.

READ Educational Trust also offers an audiobook series that may be downloaded directly from the website at http://www.read.org.za/audio-books/, which parents, guardians, and elder siblings can play to their children. It's an incredibly economical way to share stories with your family and closely resembles reading aloud.

Every Day, Read To And Tell Stories To Each Child

Reading aloud promotes children's self-esteem, helps them manage better with anxiety, improves their memory, and widens their horizons. It aids in the development of a healthy brain, which is essential for future success in school and beyond.

Handling books, naming books, understanding how stories operate, detecting sounds and letters, expanding vocabulary, and honing listening abilities are all examples of early reading skills. All of these are transmitted upon younger children when a caring adult or teen reads aloud to them.

We want to ensure that all children – including those who may not have the means or money to purchase books right now – may experience the joy of reading. That is why, in collaboration with grassroots community organisations across the country, we assist, when possible, with the  distribution of free books to children who experience hardship.

The Impact Of Covid-19 On Childhood Literacy

Covid-19 has caused havoc on life as we know it, but the Early Childhood Development (ECD) sector has been particularly hard struck. Following months of closure, only a small number of preschools, playgroups, and creches reopened for financial concerns.1

The Reading Champions Program is a component of the Basic Education Employment Initiative (BEI), which is a component of the President's wider Employment Stimulus known as the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative (PYEI).

The Presidential Employment Stimulus program intends to aid the country's efforts to boost economic recovery by increasing public employment and offering meaningful experimental learning opportunities for youth. These opportunities may pave the road for future employment prospects, hence lowering young unemployment.

One of Covid-19's most pernicious effects is an increase in unemployment, which will eventually result in higher poverty levels.

According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) data for the second quarter of 2021:

  • The number of employed persons decreased by 54 000 in the second quarter of 2021 to 14.9 million.
  • The number of unemployed persons increased by 584 000 to 7.8 million compared to the first quarter of 2021.
  • The number of discouraged work-seekers increased by 186 000 (5.9%).
  • These changes increased the official unemployment rate by 1.8 percentage points from 32.6% in the first quarter of 2021 to 34.4% in the second quarter of 2021 – the highest since the start of the QLFS in 2008.
  • According to the expanded definition of unemployment, the unemployment rate increased in quarter 2 of 2021 compared to quarter 1 of 2021. 1.2 percentage points to 44.4.%.
  • Youth aged 15-24 years and 25-34 years recorded the highest unemployment rates of 64.4% and 42.9%.

Now, more than ever, even the simplest activity like reading aloud to young children is priceless in this extraordinary context.

Visit http://www.read.org.za/ to find out more and join the conversations on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/READEduTrust/,

Twitter: https://twitter.com/READEduTrust,

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/read_educational_trust/.

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