Due to the success of the first two Lowveld Book Festivals, the festival will once more take place at Casterbridge Lifestyle Centre in White River, Mpumalanga, from 18 to 19 August with the Business Breakfast and Outreach activities happening on Friday 17 August 2018. The Lowveld is not only home to many of South Africa’s literary talents, but is also the setting for a vast array of books and poems. The response from publishers, authors and visitors has been overwhelmingly positive, and this year visitors can look forward to a host of interesting authors, as well as a socio-political discussion, various workshops and poetry readings.
A bumper programme The organisers’ goal is to reach out to the surrounding rural schools and expose children to the joy of stories and reading; to encourage teenagers to read more, whether electronic or printed books; and to support local writers and illustrators through workshops hosted by published authors. “We hope to draw visitors and well-known authors from across the country to White River and introduce them to the creative talent resident here, as well as to motivate local authors and artists by uncovering their work and exposing them to a wider world of literature,” explains Louis van der Merwe, Chairman of the Lowveld Book Festival. A balanced programme is promised, with the inclusion of poetry, folklore, workshops, storytelling and story-time for youngsters, panel discussions, historical Lowveld literature, interviews with authors, YA literature, performing art and a book fair. South African authors will be selling and autographing their latest publications and authors will be slotted into events to ensure interesting discussions that grapple with the issues confronting South African literature and reading. The Lowveld Book Festival is a multi-cultural event that will encourage a love of reading and acknowledge the role played by writers and poets in society, and we seek financial partners who embrace this important objective.
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Casterbridge Lifestyle Centre to again host a multi-cultural book festival
Penreach Asifundze Literacy Programme
Penreach Books in Homes is an NPO in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga which promotes literacy in under resourced schools, homes and communities across Mpumalanga as part of the Penreach Asifundze Literacy and Numeracy programme.
Book Banks are distributed through the Penreach Reading Camp programme in communities and purchased by educators, caregiver and well doers.
Penreach Books in Homes offers a turnkey bookshop from conceptualizing content, production and distribution of materials. Products include readers, charts, and phonic books series with CD aids. Books are priced from R6 each as to keep them affordable and reach as many children as possible. The readers are available in seven official languages and have reached China and Wales by popular demand. These books are fondly known as “Gogo’s Books” in the community.
The International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) has placed South Africa at the near bottom of the pile in performance results. Consequently, there has been reference to South Africa’s literacy level as a “national catastrophe”.
The Literacy challenge in South Africa: - By grade 6, South African children are not yet reading to learn but still learning to read in their mother tongue and in English, the language of instruction. - 58% of Grade 4 learners in under-resourced schools cannot comprehend the meaning of what they are reading in English. - 11% of Grade 4s cannot read a single word in English. - 29% of Grade 4s are considered illiterate.
The Penreach Asifundze Literacy and Numeracy intervention addresses these challenges twofold; with School and Community-Based interventions. The school based intervention focuses on educator coaching and mentoring with pedagogical content knowledge.
The Community based intervention offers Reading camps. Reading Camps are led by community volunteers trained by Penreach. Each camp receives a Penreach Book Bank, teaching aids and stationery. Penreach Book Banks comprise of English and SiSwati readers and Big Books. Volunteers make available their garages, homes and gardens to host groups of up to 30 - 40 children on week days, in the afternoons for extra reading opportunities. The Reading Camps have proven very popular and most camps operate 5 days a week.
Penreach has established 220 Reading Camps in Mpumalanga reaching 10 000 children on a weekly basis.
When 9-year-old Zino Sibuyi, a Grade 3 learner in Matsulu’s Funindlela Primary School, joined the Reading Camp he could hardly read a level 1 reader. Four months later Zino’s letter recognition and fluency on a level 2 reader matches that of his peers with the help of the Penreach Asifundze Literacy Programme. Watch Zino read https://youtu.be/FfwxCMP-gh0 .
“Education is the biggest solvable problem in South Africa,” - Professor Jonathan Jansen; a mantra in which we firmly believe at Penreach Books in Homes.
Get involved by donating Book Banks to under resourced schools.