21 February was International Mother Language Day. Children who read in their mother language have a better understanding of what they are reading than those who read in another language.
The battle to learn to read in another language is probably enough to put many children off reading, and therefore learning, for life.
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A partnership between the SA Post Office and the non-profit organisation Nal’ibali enables young children to read in their mother language. The Nal’ibali reading supplements are now available free of charge at more than 1000 Post Offices nationally. Two years ago the reading supplements were available at 45 Post Offices. This increase was made possible by the partnership Nal’ibali has with the SA Post Office.
Nal’ibali has been able to make available more than 90,000 reading supplements to individuals, reading clubs, libraries and schools countrywide. More than 1000 organisations collect their supplements from Post Offices countrywide.
Research done by Nal’ibali indicates that children, parents and teachers enjoy reading the supplements, and gives parents and children an opportunity to spend quality time together
Nal’ibali was able to do this by using the branch network of the Post Office; everybody knows that there is a Post Office in almost every village.
Nal’ibali produces interactive, fun reading material that the children assemble themselves, while the SA Post Office makes the reading material available for collection at its branches at no cost.
Research done by Nal’ibali indicates that children, parents and teachers enjoy reading the supplements, and gives parents and children an opportunity to spend quality time together.
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The reading supplements are published in South Africa’s 11 official languages. If you are a teacher, learner, caregiver or librarian and you are interested in joining the Nal’ibali tribe, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail). Your email should give:
- The name and postcode of your local post office
- The name of your reading club, school or library
- A cell phone number of the school or reading club that can be put on the address label.