E-books inspire pupils to read
BEFORE June, Zamaswazi Nkabinde could hardly finish reading a book, but in the three months she and her classmates have been given Kindles she has managed to complete two books.
Nkabinde and 57 other Grade 11 pupils at St Francis College, a low-fee school in Benoni, Ekurhuleni, are taking part in a e-Library Project that saw Kindles donated to them to encourage them to read.
The school caters mostly for township children.
Kindles are e-book readers that allow users to read, download and buy books.
Each pupil was given a Kindle in July and they sign them out during the reading period. The library has a Kindle corner where pupils sit and browse through books. They leave the devices at school.
"When we had to come for media studies I would take out the same book week after week because reading was boring. The Kindle has made it so much more fun for me. One of my favourite books is Letters to my Children by Jonathan Jansen. It is not really a novel, but an inspiring book."
According to co-director of the e-Library Project, this is a non-profit initiative aimed at testing the use of Kindles as a tool for literacy development in under-resourced schools.
The devices are donated by corporate companies and have been loaded with the latest titles from local publishers.
School principal Dian Cockcroft said: "We have seen a real change in the Grade 11s. They are more interested in reading and the other grades are asking when they will be given the Kindles.
Siyabonga Sibeko said he was interested in non-fiction books, but before they were given Kindles it was hard for him to find them.
"I was not interested in reading because of that. There is a wide range of books to read on the Kindle.
"My favourite so far is A Long Walk to a Free Ride by Nik Rabinowitz." - firstname.lastname@example.org