World Read Aloud Day was started in 2010 by LitWorld – a non-profit organisation, which rallied more than 1 million people to participate in local events in more than 100 countries.
The day included storytelling, singing, dancing and face painting and about 400 children from schools in Manenberg, Sir Lowry’s Pass, Bishop Lavis, Mitchell’s Plain, Durbanville and in the CBD attended. The annual event is is supported by the City of Cape Town , Nal’ibali, Read2Rise and schools.
Manenberg library volunteer Michaile Meyer read a story, based on Tarzan, about animals protecting each other and working together to overcome challenges.
“In my area, Manenberg, it’s sad to see friends drifting apart and going astray. If more people can be friends and unite we will have a better Manenberg, so I want to teach them this from young,” he said.
Mayco member for community services and health Zahid Badroodien said children should read every day.
“The benefits of reading to children daily, no matter how young, cannot be over emphasised. Apart from the boost to literacy skills and language acquisition, reading helps them improve memory and concentration. It’s also a fun way to entertain them as they learn.”
Reading also reduced stress, strengthened the bonds between children and parents, built confidence and helped children develop positive relationships with books, dr Badroodien said.
Retired librarian Fadeela Davids said the aim of the day was to read to children in their mother tongue.
She said many children struggled to read because they hadn’t learnt to love books.
“I am very passionate about books and about getting children to read for enjoyment. When they go to school, it’s seen as a lesson; it is not made exciting for them. That is because many of the schools still don’t have libraries, so they only read in class, and it’s seen as a chore. We encourage children to read as many books and a variety thereof.”