The Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign has broken its World Read Aloud Day (WRAD) record for the third year in succession; reading out-loud to an incredible 719 627 children across South Africa on Thursday the 16th of February.
Encouraging adults to join them in reading the same special story out loud to children on the day, the campaign commissioned award-winning children’s author, Niki Daly, to write a brand-new story for its celebration. Titled, ‘The Best Sound in the World’, the story was translated into all 11 official languages and made available to adults and caregivers nationwide free of charge.
“Each year we call on adults to join us in reading aloud to children, and, each year South Africans join us in their thousands. We are fortunate to have a great number of partners support us, but it’s the participation of families, caregivers, educators, librarians, reading club leaders and caring individuals that join in and carry the read-aloud torch long after the day that makes the lasting difference we want to see for our nation,” said Jade Jacobsohn, Nal’ibali Managing Director.
This year partners helping to reach massive numbers of children included the Department of Basic Education (DBE); the Department of Social Development; Lima Rural Development Foundation; Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA); Rotary; Volkswagen South Africa; The Bookery; and Zisize Ingwavuma Educational Trust. And, championed by Nal’ibali’s WRAD 2017 ambassador, Buhle Ngaba – a young author and actress, as well as players from the AmaZulu Football club who lent their support as reading role-models, read-aloud events big and small took place in communities throughout the country.
“It was wonderful to see so many people sharing their WRAD 2017 moments on social media. Everyday reading heroes and the people of South Africa: You did it – you read aloud to more than half a million children! And, you helped encourage the practice of reading in home languages, not just English! Let’s do it again in 2018, Mzansi,” concludes Jacobsohn.
And, for those who’d like to hear the story again, an audio clip of Ngaba reading The Best Sound in the World is available for download from the Nal’ibali web and mobisites: http://nalibali.org/story-library/audio-stories/english
For more information about the Nal’ibali campaign, or to access children’s stories in a range of SA languages, visit www.nalibali.org or www.nalibali.mobi. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter: @NalibaliSA.