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“Go take your storybook, its almost bedtime”, I tell my two year old. He returns with the Kathryn Erskine book “Mama Africa!” clutched in his hand and snuggles up next to me. He begins to relax as we read about the late Miriam Makeba – a Grammy Award-winning South African singer who rose to fame during the pinnacle of Apartheid.

Almost every evening, before the lights go out, we read. No matter what kind of day either of us had, it’s a sure way to make sure we end the day connected.

Reading aloud to children has clear cognitive benefits including strengthening early literacy skills and expanding vocabulary. According to research by paediatrician Perri Klaas, reading aloud also helps with children’s social, emotional, and character development.

In celebration of World Read Aloud Day today – a day when people all around the globe read aloud together and share stories to advocate for literacy as a human right, we have rounded up a list of free reading resources you can dive into.

Nal’ibali – South Africa’s national reading-for-enjoyment campaign, offers an ever-growing collection of reading tips, downloadable resources and children’s stories in a range of South African languages tailored for local audiences and reading clubs. In celebration of World Reading Aloud Day this year, they are on a mission to reach 1.5 million children through story reading.

 

Wordworks, an Innovation Edge investment provides fun and creative ideas about how to talk, play, sing, write, count and share books with children on a daily basis.

 

African Storybook offers open access to picture storybooks in various African languages for children’s enjoyment and imagination. Storybooks are available for download through the website and mobile phone app.

Book Dash aims to encourage book ownership and reading from a young age by providing African storybooks that anyone can freely print, translate and distribute. Free digital versions  of the books are available on their website or through their Android mobile app.

 

Do you know of a free reading resource that wasn’t included in this list? Share below on the comment box.

Happy World Read Aloud Day!

 

About the Author

Nadanababalwa Hermanus joined Innovation Edge in early 2018. She is responsible for supporting the development and implementation of marketing and communications plans that contribute to achieving Innovation Edge’s strategic goals. Her professional experience includes working in Broadcast Media and working with start-ups and non-profits. She holds a National Diploma in Journalism from Nelson Mandela University.