The Language Centre loves books and takes pride in advancing literacy. We’d like to share with you how we connected to the wider community with books and reading sessions this year.
In July this year, the Language Centre, Vriende van Afrikaans and the residence Academia donated two book chests to the value of R15 000 to two schools in Stellenbosch. This time the recipients were Bruckner de Villiers Primary School and AF Louw Primary School. A book chest contains a variety of English, Afrikaans and Xhosa books, and can serve as a mobile library, particularly for schools without a traditional library. We had an opportunity to connect with the children when we handed over the book chests, to read some stories to them and to guide them on how to handle, look after and enjoy books. Our hearts melted when we received a handmade thank you booklet with cards from the children.
Subsequently, another initiative flowed from the book chest project: we started reading to the children. In collaboration with Vriende van Afrikaans and Academia, the Language Centre coordinates weekly reading sessions at twelve nursery schools and the pre-primary classes of the two schools that received book chests this year. In doing this, we hope to nurture a love of books. We also believe that this investment will yield an abundance of literacy dividends. If you are keen to join the reading team, please e-mail Vernita Beukes.
The Language Centre surprised everyone on campus again with a book tsunami in the Neelsie (the Langenhoven Student Centre) on 7 September. This special occasion commemorated International Literacy Day, celebrated all over the world on 8 September this year. The books we have been collecting throughout the year were stacked in the Neelsie to create a ‘wave’ of books. Anyone who entered the Neelsie could ‘dive’ in and pick a book to take home. We had one request, however: After having read the book, the reader should pass it on to someone else to keep the reading wave going. It’s our way of paying it forward. If you have any books to donate for our next book tsunami, please e-mail Vernita Beukes.
And while we’re on this topic: The Language Centre’s Reading Lab helps adult readers to read faster and smarter – it doesn’t matter whether the reading material is business reports, academic articles or text books. E-mail Marisca Coetzee for more about the Reading Lab.