GEORGE NEWS - On Thursday 18 July George Herald is once again hosting its annual Mandela Day Sandwich Jam.
The goal is to prepare 10 000 sandwiches in 67 minutes at the newspaper's premises with the help of local businesses.
In 2017, at the 6th annual George Herald Mandela Day Sandwich Jam, the Ordinary Magic for Madiba Reading Campaign was launched.
In the spirit of Mandela Day, the campaign, an initiative by George Herald and Group Editors, was born to open up the world of reading to children in George.
Reading in schools has become one of Government's top priorities. A study by the Centre for Evaluation and Assessment found that 78% of South African learners in Grade 4 cannot read for meaning.
"If we are to ensure that within the next decade every 10-year-old will be able to read for meaning, we will need to mobilise the entire nation behind a massive reading campaign," Cyril Ramaphosa stated in his recent State of the Nation address.
The president also said Government will be rolling out initiatives like the National Reading Coalition and promised to implement the Early Grade Reading Programme.
As part of the Ordinary Magic for Madiba Reading Project, a weekly article called Rocco's Library is published in Idinga, a free Group Editors newspaper distributed in the CBD, Lawaaikamp and Thembalethu. The weekly articles give guidance to parents of young children, showing them the different stages of development in reading the child has to go through, and how parents can contribute to their child's development by reading to their children at home.
The campaign focuses on instilling a love of reading and books in children and an appeal is made for the entire community to come on board by means of donations or establishing reading sessions.
From donations received last year from Oakhurst Insurance, Glenwood College and Aurecon, material to make classrooms print rich has been bought and donated to five crèches. The teachers were also trained how to read to the small children. This year the project was extended to Lawaaikamp crèche and the Grade R classes at Mzoxolo Primary School in Lawaaikamp. Headmaster Raymond Eagen welcomed the project at his school. "Reading skills are of utmost importance and we welcome your contribution in creating a culture of reading among learners."
Books, books, books
Through the Ordinary Magic for Madiba Reading Project, Mzoxolo's library received a donation of 125 library books in the Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys mystery series. These books were donated by Welna and Norman Drake, who live in Dubai.
Welna's father, Francois Kalp, was the principal at Nelson Mandela's alma mater, Healdtown High in Fort Beaufort, where he matriculated in 1938. The hostel and school were renovated and restored to their former glory last year. Dr Hugh Houghton-Hawksley, a retired inspector of education, also came on board this year to encourage children and parents to read and he has donated 60 of his wonderful Jamie Jaguar books* to the campaign.
The ACVV has also taken hands with the reading project and has availed a building in Parkdene that will be perfect for the establishment of a permanent reading centre, but it needs some TLC. An earnest appeal is made to the construction industry of George to come on board to do the necessary renovations. Contact Ilse Schoonraad on 082 724 0402 or at email@example.com.
Send us your reading pics
We encourage all parents at home or teachers at crèches to spend 67 minutes of their time on Mandela Day, 18 July, to read to their children. Invite grandparents or parents to come and read at crèches or to older children.
All in the spirit of 67 minutes for Madiba, taking into account the national priority on reading. Send us photos of your reading sessions for publication online and in the paper to firstname.lastname@example.org.
* The Jamie Jaguar books are available from Dr Hugh Houghton-Hawksley on 074 582 7105, or at Crow's Nest Toy Store in the Langeberg Mall in Mossel Bay, or at Kids Emporium at the Eden Meander Lifestyle Centre in George.
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