Supporting literacy development on National Children’s day


Saturday 03 November  is  National  Children’s  Day. Nal’ibali,  a  new national reading-for-enjoyment- initiative, provides these simple tips to easily turn any environment into one that encourages literacy learning, emotional bonding and fun. These can be used in the home or any other environment.

Tips to creating a literacy learning environment:

It is easier for children to learn to read and write in an environment that has lots of print in it because it shows them what reading and writing can be used for. Create this atmosphere with:


  • Display posters where the children can easily see them
  • Make your own posters with children using drawings, painting or pictures from magazines and newspapers.
  • Write your own messages or slogans in one, two or more languages
  • Make posters using rhymes, songs and riddles in different languages or write a story together that can be displayed and read
  • When reading with children, point to the words as you read
  • Encourage children to read and re-read them by themselves or with friends

Alphabet charts

Alphabet charts let children see what letters exist and you can also use them to help match letters to sounds. Make and display different kinds of alphabet charts. Draw pictures for each letter that would be meaningful to the children – or better still, ask your child to draw a picture for each letter and use these to create your own alphabet charts. Children love to make an alphabet picture of themselves using the first letter in their name.

Lots to read

Collect and have available reading matter which may include newspapers and magazines, information pamphlets, train or bus timetables and old greeting cards. These sometimes contain interesting things to read, photographs to discuss, and can also be cut up and used by children when they want to make their own cards, artworks etc. Ask friends and family to give books, both fiction and non-fiction, as gifts on birthdays.

Be a role model

Show children that reading and writing can be satisfying, interesting and fun by reading and writing when they are around you. Instead of reading completely alone, pause and share interesting thoughts or facts from what you are reading. When you write something like a shopping list, or fill in a form, explain what you are doing and spell out words as you write them. When going out, take something to read with you and share a story with your children during moments of down time.

Parents, care-givers  and  older  readers  can  also  use  the  Nal’ibali  supplements  which  appear  in  select   Avusa newspapers. The supplements contain stories to read aloud and to read alone, related activities as well as further information and tips on reading clubs and sharing and enjoying books with children.

Nal’ibali  supplements  are  available  in  the  following  newspapers:

KwaZulu-Natal: The Times (English and isiZulu) on Wednesdays

Gauteng: The Times (English and isiZulu) on Wednesdays

Western Cape: The Times (English and isiXhosa) on Wednesdays

Eastern Cape: The Herald and Daily Dispatch (English and isiXhosa) on Tuesdays

Other  Nal’ibali  platforms  where  further information can be found on  the Nal’ibali  website:

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