Nal’ibali Reading-for Enjoyment Campaign, led by the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (PRAESA), seeks to addressing the challenge of literacy development in South Africa by combining a national mass media awareness campaign with face-to-face mentoring and support programs in six provinces across South Africa (Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal).
In each province, a Nal'ibali presence is established by a locally based team of Cluster Mentors and Story Sparkers. Cluster Mentors are PRAESA staff and work to develop local infrastructure and provide operational support to local Nal'ibali chapters by conducting trainings, mobilizing parental/community involvement, and facilitating post-training mentorship and coaching of Story Sparkers. Story Sparkers are community-based volunteers who receive a stipend to assist Cluster Mentors in establishing a local presence. Together, Cluster Mentors and Story Sparkers work together to carry out the following core activities:
- Enlist and support Reading Club Leaders to establish and run reading clubs.
- Encourage community members such as parents, librarians, and teachers to form community action groups that become local champions for storytelling and reading for enjoyment.
- Conduct reading-for-enjoyment workshops to demonstrate and support appropriate practice.
- Facilitate post-training mentorship through ongoing support visits, regular Cluster Mentor visits to site teams, ongoing reading club coaching and reflection sessions, and also monthly cluster meetings to encourage community involvement and sharing of experiences.
In order to ensure quality, Cluster Mentors are required to attend two PRAESA capacity building training workshops annually, and are provided ongoing support from the project's national program coordinator.
Nal'ibali provides free delivery of weekly readings (28,000 copies a week) to reading clubs, literacy organizations, ECD centers, and schools. It also provides reading clubs with reading club guides, checklists, and activity sheets to support productive activity within the clubs.
Nal'ibali's national awareness campaign is supported by traditional and social media outlets, which provide free advertising and other support to amplify its impact.
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CEI approaches in action
The Nal’ibali national reading-for-enjoyment campaign has delivered close to 10 million literacy supplements since its inception in June 2012. It provides guidance and support to 80 reading clubs in six provinces as well as providing free information, materials and encouragement on the website, mobisite and social media platforms.
The number of reading clubs countrywide has grown to 80 in 6 provinces since program's inception. Supplemental materials were first only provided in three languages (English, Zulu, Xhosa) but have expanded to include Afrikaans, Sesotho and July as from July 2013.