June is National Youth Month and it was celebrated in fine style by the staff (some of whom were even in school uniform!) and students of Sobambisana Public Primary School, as Breadline Africa joined them for the launch of their new prefabricated Foundation Phase library, kindly funded by the UK-based JCT rust.
The school, which is located in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, was established in 1987 and has 1,284 children who will benefit from the new facility, with the help of local literacy partners, help2read and Nali’bali.
Ms Tabita Dlamini, representing the school’s governing body, reminisced about June 16, 1976. A lot may have changed since then, she said, but the struggle for basic facilities such as libraries, continues to plague communities like Khayelitsha. Sobambisana benefits from support from The Bookery and the partnership with the Centre for Books who do literacy enhancement sessions with the teachers on a regular basis. The school also runs Family Literacy Programme workshops for parents on how to support literacy in the home.
Ms Nosipho Dyalvane, from help2read, expressed her great appreciation for the partnerships that have been cemented during the establishment of the library and emphasized the importance of working together to help the children to become readers. She further encouraged the children to read, read and read.
The principal, Mr Mvuyisi Damba spoke about how ibraries work best when they address the realities of schools. In the case of Sobambisana Public Primary School, it is a matter of improving results in language, particularly for the Foundation Phase (GradeR-3,) which is where he will be focusing his attention. He also expressed his excitement at then ewly placed facility and the great opportunities that lie ahead for not only his school, but the community as a whole.
Breadline Africa’s Ms Nyasha Njela also recognised 16 June 1976, and added that she hoped that all who had played a role on that day knew that their efforts were not in vain. She thanked the JC Trust (who also funded Tiitsane Primary School in Ga-Masemola, Limpopo)and quoted writer, George RR Martin who said that a reader lives a thousand lives before they die, the man who never reads lives only once!