Silverlea Primary School pupils were excited to see the opening of their new library hubs as part of the school’s 70th birthday celebrations, on Wednesday April 25.
They welcomed the hubs by dressing up as storybook characters.
The school made use of spaces in the corridors to create reading corners and display displays. Each hub has a different theme to make reading exciting for the pupils.
School principal, Karl Martin, said the school had raised about R20000 to buy the books.
The books are only for reading purposes at the school. They will only be available for the school’s 840 pupils to borrow and take home once more books have been purchased.
Mr Martin said interns from the Key Stone, a non-profit organisation based at the school, would read to the pupils daily.
“Reading is important. It will help our children with their numeracy and literacy levels. This will be beneficial to them. It is often challenging getting to the libraries from where they live,” said Mr Martin.
He added that they planned to use one of the corridors for a computer laboratory.
“We are trying to marry reading and writing,” he said, adding that they had already seen some improvement on pupils’ numeracy and literacy levels across grades.
“If they don’t know how to read, they won’t be able to use the computers.”
Mr Martin said it would be challenging to protect the books, but vowed to “make it work”.
Mahlubi Ngqukuvana, circuit manager for area central circuit seven, said school libraries were critical and each school should have one.
“Not all schools have a library, but it is something that the WCED (Western Cape Education Department) is striving for,” he said.
He urged parents to adopt the ethos of reading regularly to their children at home.
“Many areas have the community newspapers delivered to their doors. Going to a library is not always possible, so use the newspaper as a reading source for your children. It will increase their language skills,” he said.
Retired teacher and volunteer at the school, Shirley Davies, regards reading as one of the most important tools for a child’s development.
“If they can read they can teach themselves. Reading is the basis of all subjects. It is something that needs to be continued at home and not just at school. Read to your children, take them to the library, and listen to audio books. Many libraries have various programmes for children,” she said.
Ms Davies called on pupils to respect the books and treat them with care.
“Encourage them to get books and read on their own. It is each person’s responsibility to learn how to read.
“All schools should follow this example. Many people want to make a contribution to society, and school libraries are worthy causes,” she said.