Pupils at Belmor Primary School came dressed as their favourite book characters last week for International Literacy Day and National Book Week.
International Literacy Day is on September 8.
Grade 2 pupil Qaniah Jacobs read Mimi Helps Her Friends to her class; Grade 4s sang The Lion Sleeps Tonight on the school field; Grade 6s assessed the literary merits of songs by Afrikaans rapper Earl “Early B” Swartz and Grade 7s acted out parts from the youth novel, Whitney’s Kiss.
Ruwayda Jacobs, a literacy teacher at the Community Action towards a Safer Environment (Case) taught Grade 2s the importance of literacy, and teachers read books to their classes throughout the grades.
Pupils had to talk about what they had learnt or choose an Afrikaans song and say whether they found it easier to read or sing the song.
Ms Jacobs said library cards were a passport to a world of books and knowledge. “It is important to own a library card because reading must be practised every day. Reading will get you anywhere because it will teach you the alphabet, and you will know which letters to make words with.”
Learning to sound letters and form words started at infancy when parents taught their babies to say “mama” and “dada”.
“Your mom taught you the ’m’ sound and your dad taught you the ’d’ sound, and by doing this they taught you sounds and how to form words,” she said.
Grade 5 teacher Nadine Daniels said that pupils were struggling to read, but they were keen to improve their reading skills.
“They do struggle to read, but they do make the effort. Many of them prefer reading rather than doing actual school work. While they are not fluent readers, their enthusiasm to read is there,” she said.
Grade 6 teacher Moegamad Mosavel said that pupils had to decipher how rhyming changed the songs they chose from Early B when they read them and sang them.
“They chose literature components such as onomatopoeia, personification, and rhyme and also said how they feel when they listened to the song and when they just read it,” he said.
Grade 6 pupil Imaad Stringer said: “I am doing the song Potte because it’s funny, and I learnt that it is easier and more enjoyable to sing the song than just to read it.”
Belmor Primary School principal Glenda Poole said language was one of the key building blocks for lifelong learning.
“We try to instil a love for reading and to apply the necessary skills in their daily lives. We want each child to be successful and to grow with books,” she said.