Book challenge gets kids reading in trees, prams and washing machines

Grade 7 pupil Aneeq John took his book up a tree.

Pupils from Hanover Park’s Belmor Primary School went all out to take pictures of themselves reading in the strangest places for the Metro Central Education District’s Extreme Reading Challenge.

The challenge was for World Book Day, on Saturday April 23, and the pupils photographed themselves reading in the bath, in a fireplace, in a washing machine, in a tree and in a pram.

The competition runs until Saturday April 30 and the winners will be announced on Friday May 6. Winners will receive teaching supplies for their school.

Reading could offer an escape for children living in difficult circumstances while relieving stress and improving vocabulary and communication skills, said Gretchen Johnston, the English home language and first additional language subject advisor at the district office.

Grade 7 pupil Cassidy Kock reading in the washing machine.

Belmor Primary Grade 7 teacher Charnelle Hector said the challenge had created a buzz at the school.

“The air was indeed crackling with excitement about which novels pupils were reading and what the next location of their extreme photos would be. Seeing them this excited about reading is sheer poetry,” she said.

Grade 7 pupil Tashmay Booysen said she loved reading because she learnt new words and she liked to pretend that she was a character in the story.

Grade 6 pupil Tania Dumbreni said her grandmother always read to her. “I want to carry on her legacy. Reading allows me to go on many adventures; it also expands my vocabulary.”

Grade 4 pupil Zoe Louw reads in a pram.

Principal Carol Poole said reading opened the door to lifelong learning. “We are laying the foundation at a primary school level for reading with comprehension and also fostering the love for books and reading. The educators at Belmor are avid readers and model and instil this in our learners and community. They, along with the librarian and his team, are instrumental in our endeavour to get Hanover Park reading.”

Grade 7 Wayne Majoni reading in a tree.

The schools included in the Metro Central Education District are those situated in Guguletu, Bonteheuwel, Heideveld, Manenberg, Athlone, Claremont, Rondebosch, the City Bowl, Hout Bay, and Camps Bay. Photos can be sent to