Young readers lead the way with great prizes up for grabs.

[Mbizana, Eastern Cape] Reading Clubs from six schools in Mbizana will be showing off their own ‘story power’ this coming week. On 11 and 12 September, the final round of the 2018 Mbizana reading club competition will take place in Scelo Bani Hall, Ntsingizi Community. During the same week, similar competitions will take place in Lusikisiki, Mount Ayliff and Maluti, as well as in two districts in KwaZulu-Natal.

These competitions form part of the Story Powered Schools project which, initiated by the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign and endorsed by the Department of Basic Education, encourages South African children in select rural schools to read for pleasure in their home languages. Studies have shown that children who regularly read and tell stories in their mother tongue perform better in the classroom.

September is Literacy Month and the competition has drawn the best reading clubs from across 240 schools.

The six reading clubs competing in the final round for the title of first, second and third place in Mbizana are Lumka Foundation Reading Club (Mzambana Senior Primary School), Nolwazi ka Lumka Foundation Reading Club (Ngqongweni Senior Primary School), Shooting Stars Reading Club (Xolobeni Junior Secondary School), Dolphins Reading Club (Mdatya Senior Secondary School), Abathandi Bencwadi Reading Club (Yange School[SM1] ) and Goal Achievers club (Ntamonde Senior Primary School).

On Tuesday 11 September, these clubs will display the books and stories they have been reading over the year, as well as examples of their creative writing and drawing for the judges’ evaluation. Wednesday 12 September will be action-packed, with each club performing their favourite songs, poems and stories before the overall winners are announced.


“We’re excited to support the schools in Mbizana in developing and celebrating learners who love reading,” said Story Powered Schools Manager, Michael Cekiso. “This competition has sparked so much enthusiasm amongst children to pick up books and explore stories together. We want to reward reading clubs and their leaders for the gains they’ve made and the children they’ve inspired.”


Along with their prize trophy, the top three reading clubs will be rewarded with exciting prizes from Nal’ibali, including new books for their clubs. Further, each winning club will receive a radio and a CD player.  “The prizes were chosen to give successful reading clubs new story resources and ways of using them in schools,” says Jade Jacobsohn, Managing Director of Nal’ibali. 


“This competition final celebrates the power of stories to excite and inspire children,” continues Jacobsohn. “Our Story Powered Schools project is about finding the joy in reading and we expect to see lots of joy in Mbizana this coming week.”


Story Powered Schools is a Nal’ibali initiative endorsed by the Department of Basic Education and made possible by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Story Powered Schools aims to spark learners’ potential and unlock their school success through reading and storytelling by placing stories at the heart of classrooms and schools. For more information about the campaign, or the power of reading and storytelling, visit: www.storypoweredschools. org and www.storypoweredschools.mobi.



Contact: Siyabulela Ngesi

Phone: 073 550 9457

Email: siyabulela@nalibali.org