18 Dec

Storybook sparks love of reading

first_imgDalubuhle Primary School has a commanding, aspirational presence at the top of the mountain, above the town.(Image: Lorraine Kearney) Nal’ibali supports bilingual literacy development and encourages parents and children to engage with each other through reading and storytelling. Author Chris van Wyk held his young audience in the palm of his hand.(Images: Ogilvy PR)MEDIA CONTACTS • Patti McDonaldTimes Media Education+27 11 280 3000• Sally MillsOgilvy PR+27 21 467 1376RELATED ARTICLES• Gift that keeps on giving• Why we need a literate nation• Getting needy kids hooked on books• Reading to boost our self-esteem• Instilling a love of readingLorraine KearneyIn a bowl of mountains in Western Cape, about an hour’s drive from Cape Town, is a small corner that remains determinedly French.In Franschhoek, Bastille Day is celebrated each year with all the pomp and circumstance you’d expect of Paris. It is also the wine capital of the country, and its estates carry names such as La Motte and Grande Provence. The posh little town is a favourite of well-heeled tourists, and Franschhoek’s restaurants and guest houses consistently score among the best.But for all its French conceit, Franschhoek has some very South African challenges, not least of which is the gaping chasm between the haves and the have-nots. Its socio-economic problems carry deep scars from yesteryear – the legacy of the dop system, whereby grape pickers and farm workers were paid a portion of their wages in alcohol; the vagaries of apartheid spatial planning; and, of course, the poor quality of public education.Driving from the Paarl road into what is, despite these issues, a slice of heaven, on the left, going up the mountain, are the townships, the poor homes of the coloured and black citizens of the town. Turn left on Le Roux, and climb ever upwards past increasingly dilapidated houses, rutted roads, stray dogs and dirty children. Right at the top, with a spectacular view over the town, is a beacon of hope.Dalubuhle Primary School is a smart new building, with clean lines and a palpable sense of possibility. Its geographic position is symbolic – it is a place to strive for; it is a place where achievement is possible; education, it says, can take you higher. And it is here that Sunday Times and Praesa (Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa) chose to launch their new Nal’ibali Storytime collection on May 16, as a precursor to the Franschhoek Literary Festival, an annual gathering of authors, readers, publishers, literary agents, and book lovers.The three-day festival, which ran this year from 17 to 19 May, is a popular event, and tickets and accommodation sell out well in advance. The highlight is the announcement of the short lists for the Sunday Times Literary Awards, the Alan Paton Award and the Fiction Prize. But the programme is diverse: local and international authors do readings from their own works and from the works of others; writers give talks; authors hold talks with each other, or with various erudite personalities and celebrities.Here’s the storyNal’ibali, which means “here’s the story” in Xhosa, is a national reading-for-enjoyment campaign to spark children’s potential through storytelling and reading.“Children who are immersed in great and well-told stories – and in languages they understand – become inspired and are motivated to learn to read for themselves. Such personally rewarding learning is a recipe for successful literacy development,” the project explains on its website.It supports bilingual literacy development and encourages parents and children to engage with each other through reading and storytelling. It works through various platforms, such as newspaper supplements, book clubs and networks, social media and a mobi site. Book packs are distributed to the Nal’ibali demonstration reading club sites, and the partners work with publishers to create and translate reading materials for children in African languages as well as English to help ensure that sufficient, stimulating books are available.Nal’ibali is driven by Praesa, Times Media, publishers of the Sunday Times, and other partners. “Through sustained mentoring and collaboration with communities, reading clubs, literacy organisations and volunteers of all ages, as well as a vibrant media campaign, Nal’ibali is helping to root a culture of literacy into the fabric of everyday life in South Africa.”StorytellingThe third Sunday Times Nal’ibali Storytime was launched at a simple ceremony at Dalubuhle Primary School, where the power of storytelling was brought home to the children and to the audience. Author Chris van Wyk, who contributed the short story Mr Hare Meets Mr Mandela, was an inspired choice to spark their interest. This is a man who gets children, and who understands the power of stories. Using English and Afrikaans and the language of the taxi ranks and streets, he gripped his listeners’ attention. And then left them hanging, the rest of the story tantalisingly out of reach: if you want to know more, seemed to be the message, read the book.But Siphokazi Mangwane, a young volunteer librarian at the school, took up the challenge, and gave a master class in storytelling. She read Van Wyk’s story in Xhosa and had the audience in the palm of her hand – even those who could not understand the words were bewitched by the lyrical sounds and beautiful clicks of the language.Donald Grant, the Western Cape minister of education, attended the launch, and spoke of the school’s excellent achievements. He said the Grade threes of 2012 had shown “an outstanding improvement of almost 25%” in the annual systemic tests. The Grade sixes had improved 3.9% in literacy, language, and reading.“Reading and language is the key to everything,” Grant stressed, urging the children to work hard and involve their parents in their school work. “The only time you find success before work,” he said in closing, “is in the dictionary.”Collection of storiesCarole Bloch, the director of Praesa and the head of Nal’ibali, explained that the book contained 10 stories that could be read to and by children of all ages in primary school. The stories would also appeal to the child in each adult.“Why do we read?” she asked. “We read to feel good, to become literate. We read to share knowledge, to go on an adventure, to build our imaginations. Nal’ibali sparks a love of stories and reading.”Funds that made the third Nal’ibali Storytime possible came from Coralie Rutherford, businesswoman and philanthropist. In her message to the children, she said: “Because I can read, I was able to go to school, get a degree, work … and give money to Nal’ibali. My message to you is to work hard and you can also be successful.”She urged the girls to “do something that will allow you to look after yourself”, and finally to “do something that will make you happy”.The stories are beautifully illustrated, and there are plans to print the books in all 11 official languages, starting with English. This will be followed by Zulu and Xhosa later this year. The first 200 000 copies will be donated to schools, reading clubs, libraries and other NGO reading initiatives nationwide; two-million copies of the first two collections have been distributed.The stories were commissioned by Times Media. “We have been fortunate to work with a number of talented South African authors and illustrators in putting together this magical collection of stories,” said Patti McDonald, the publisher of Times Media Education’s supplements. “A treasured storybook can be just the thing to spark a love of reading in children and this is precisely our intention – to skill children to become readers for life.”Bloch added: “Books and stories deepen our thinking and understanding by stretching our imagination while encouraging creative problem-solving. To have stories that our children can relate to in their home languages is an invaluable asset that we need to keep growing in our country.”last_img read more

18 Dec

Sunbird to supply Eskom with Ibhubesi gas

first_img17 March 2015Sunbird Energy, an Australian listed energy company, has signed deal under which it will supply gas to Eskom. South Africa’s national energy utility plans to use gas rather than costly diesel to power its generators.The Ibhubesi Gas Project (IGP) would supply Eskom’s Ankerlig power station with 30 billion cubic feet of gas a year for up to 15 years, Sunbird said in a statement on Wednesday.The Ibuhebesi development is off the West Coast of South Africa and is a joint venture between Sunbird (76%) and PetroSA (24%), the national oil company. Sunbird Energy, the operator of the project, received governmental approval to acquire the production right on Block 2A, 105km off the coast of the Northern Province within the Orange Basin, in October 2013.By connecting South Africa’s largest proven gas field with Ankerlig, Ibuhebesi would allow Eskom “to realise significant fuel cost savings, while providing a new and cleaner burning energy supply to South Africa”, Kerwin Rana, Sunbird’s chairman, said.The first gas out of the IGP and into the Ankerlig Power Station is expected in 2018.Eskom supplies about 95% of the country’s electricity, but has had to use diesel- powered turbines as it struggles to meet demand. Ankerlig, which is about 40km north of Cape Town, has an installed capacity of 1 350MW and has used diesel since it was constructed in 2007.The deal marked the commercialisation of IGP, Rana said, which would “provide a critical foundation project for the development of an integrated gas economy on the West Coast of South Africa”.Rana said the development of the IGP were aligned with South Africa’s energy “war room” priorities of bringing energy security and reducing costs through the Five-Point Plan being overseen by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.The IGP project also supported the goals of Operation Phakisa, a presidential initiative aimed at unlocking the economic potential of South Africa’s oceans, with a particular focus on oil and gas development.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

30 Sep

Trent Richardson All Smiles About Colts Trade

Running back Trent Richardson, who was traded from the Cleveland Brown to Indianapolis Colts earlier this week, says he has no malice towards his former team for their decision. In a recent interview, Richardson focused on the excitement of being a Colts player.The 2012 No. 3 overall draft pick will now be on a team with all-star players such as Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne and up-and-coming receiver,  T.Y. Hilton, which is why Richardson may be so positive about the trade.“[The Colts] gave up a first-round pick. That shows a lot of respect they have for me,” said Richardson, who will wear No. 34 with the Colts. “Playing against these guys twice, just seeing how they are around each other when they’re on the sideline, how they’re jelling together, just being in the locker room for these couple hours, it’s been a big change. They’re happy to come to work, and they’re ready to go.”The Colts traded a first-round pick in the 2014 draft to get Richardson from Cleveland on Wednesday. Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said he first approached the Browns about Richardson earlier in the week.“He loves football,” Grigson said about Richardson. “He has the right body type for his style as a runner, and his style fits this offense.”Richardson has 1,055 yards, 3.5 yards per carry, on 298 carries through his first 17 career games—a total of 11 touchdowns with the Browns. He also caught 58 passes for 418 yards and another TD. read more

17 Sep

Report Real Madrid to hand Navas a new contract

first_imgReal Madrid have reportedly decided to begin contract talks with the out-of-favour Keylor NavasThe Costa Rican goalkeeper arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2014 from fellow La Liga side Levante and soon established himself as the club’s number one.However, Navas’ has found himself benched frequently this season with Real’s new €35m arrival Thibaut Courtois now the preferred option in goal.In total, the Belgian has made 11 starts for Real compared to Navas’ seven with four of Courtois’ starts coming in the club’s last five games.Sergio Ramos, Real MadridZidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.Due to this, Navas’ future had been called into question with Juventus recently being linked with a surprise move.But ABC claims that Real are desperate to retain the healthy competition between Courtois and Navas.The report adds that Los Blancos have decided to offer Navas a new one-year extension on his contract until June 2021.Navas has made 148 appearances in all competitions for Real and has won three straight Champions Leagues along with a La Liga title.last_img read more