Readathon aims to grow a literate SA

More reading and writing, especially in home languages, would greatly improve literacy levels in South African schools, the READ Educational Trust said yesterday.

More reading and writing, especially in home languages, would greatly improve literacy levels in South African schools, the READ Educational Trust said yesterday.

Cynthia Hugo, the trust's national director, said that with more than half of the country's pupils coming from homes without any reading material, providing those materials was critical to developing a genuine love for reading.

She spoke as the nationwide Nedbank Readathon 2007, a collaboration with the Department of Education, began at schools across the country.

The initiative focuses on providing and expanding reading and writing opportunities for children in a school environment.

It will see reading materials distributed to more than 26000 schools, 330000 teachers and more than 13million pupils.

"We've seen the impact over the years at schools that have participated in the Readathon. Now, with the provision of learning and teaching material in South Africa's indigenous languages, we expect to see a significant increase in reading and writing opportunities and a positive influence on learning in general," Hugo said.

Education Minister Naledi Pandor said: "Parents, educators, learners and all in our society should be encouraged to read and excel in reading. We must intensify our efforts to expand reading opportunities and to create a reading nation in South Africa." - Sapa

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