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​Small children have a better chance at success in life if they have access to books – and the City’s libraries are the place to find them.
READING enthusiasts will be in for a treat as National Library Week approaches. The week, which runs from 17 to 24 March, promotes the early development of vocabulary for little children.

Children will beVarious activities will be held in all City librariesAccording to the City’s Library and Information Services department, “While the majority of children learn basic reading skills in school, in their daily life these skills are hardly nurtured since most South African children will never have the chance to read a book for fun.”

For many people in the country, reading is a luxury. Books are too expensive. Many parents cannot afford to buy recreational reading material for their children and therefore children have no access to books at home.

There is a link between the early development of vocabulary through reading and success later in life, the department notes.  Children who read at home before starting school have a better chance of excelling because of the vocabulary they have already developed.

“Research suggests that a child from a professional family is likely to have heard 45-million words by his or her fourth birthday. A child from a working class background will have heard 26-million and a child from a deprived background will have heard only 13-million… It is not the toys in a house that matter, but the words in a child’s head,” the department says.


Library Week activities at City libraries. Read more.
As part of National Library Week celebrations, the City’s Library and Information Services department is declaring a fine-free period from 17 to 31 March.
“As individuals, we must be role models to our children and to the community around us,” says Nobuntu Mpendulo, director for the City’s Library and Information Services.

Library Week promotes early Library Week promotes early development of vocabulary for small children“Children learn by example. if we do not read, our children will never read.  Children should be surrounded by books; if we cannot afford to buy books, borrow from the library.”

Individuals can access all kinds of books for free from any of the City’s 81 libraries. From rates income the City buys books for the public to read.

Public libraries play a vital role as they provide access to information, run reading development programmes directed at young children in crèches, and conduct training for the adults who cannot read so that they can share the joy of reading with their children by telling stories through pictures.

These facilities run story-telling sessions to enable children to listen to stories or read from their books and therefore develop interest in reading and engage in literacy initiatives and training, provide reading material in the medium of choice.

Homework assistance is also offered at all libraries in the city with specific attention to vulnerable groups of children in Orange Farm and Diepsloot. Piloting programmes with five schools in Orange Farm has already started and the City has managed to secure some donations that will enable them to start laying a foundation.
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