With schools closed for the mid-year break, Story Powered Schools Literacy Mentors are ensuring that not only do the children of the school communities they serve stay entertained and engaged, but that the legacy of Nelson Mandela and the values he lived by are passed on by sharing one of his favourite children's stories, The Snake Chief, in special holiday reading programmes.
The July school holidays can be a very long and lonely time for children and, not being in school, children often fall out of the habit of reading. But with the right guidance and support, the holidays are really a wonderful opportunity to show them just how enjoyable and satisfying reading can be!
The programmes will be running from the 17th to the 21st of July and, with Mandela Day falling during this period, Literacy Mentors and Story Sparkers are using the opportunity to discuss the important role Mandela played in building our democracy and sharing the special story. Because, while stories have the power to help children to better at school, they can also help them to grow emotionally; developing their sense of empathy and tolernace by helping them to understand and make sense of their own feelings as well as the feelings of others.
By spending time relaxing and sharing stories with children in welcoming and comfortable places, we believe we are passing on the values Mandela stood for and hope others will join us too.
For those who would like to share The Snake Chief with their children on Mandela Day and be part of the collective reading, it is freely available in English, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sesotho, Sepedi and Afrikaans for week from Tuesday 11 July. A special guide on how to run your own holiday reading programme with children is also be available for download.