When children learn to read, it improves their overall confidence and self-esteem.
UCS teachers are passionate about building literacy at their primary school. The library at the school is a perfect example of how seriously books and reading feature in the children’s daily lives. It was created to accommodate books which were generously donated by a South African company. Most of the books were purchased at Exclusive Books for the UCS library. “We have also had quite a number of used books donated to us by individuals,” says Louise Tamboer, deputy principal of UCS Primary School.
Now, the Foundation Phase learners go weekly to the library, one class at a time. “The Librarian, Ms Masola, reads a story to the class. The children then get to take a book home to return back to the library – in the same condition they found it – one week later,” Louise explains.
The school takes a strict and disciplined approach to the library by teaching the children from a young age to respect and care for the books. However, the emphasis is still on fun. “We want our children to embrace reading,” says Louise. “There is nothing more affirming to me than seeing those little faces light up at story time.”
Another important literacy activity for UCS is the City of Jo’burg Library and Information Services Story Skirmish, an inter-schools knock-out quizz. The UCS Grade 4 and 5 learners enter the competition. They are challenged to read the books and then answer questions verbally. UCS has participated in this competition since 2012 and has done extremely well by reaching the semi-finals on two occasions.