(By Mary-Anne Gontsana)
It’s a tuk-tuk (a three-wheeled motor vehicle), but it is also a mobile library. On Thursday, the VUSA Academy Programme launched its mobile library initiative in Langa.
Lungile Moferi drives the library slowly around the streets of Langa, and makes his first stop at an early childhood development centre called Dalukhanyo Pre-School.
He is greeted excitedly by a group of four and five-year-old girls and boys. They go to a small classroom where Moferi reads to them from one of the books he has brought, “I like to read on the farm”.
Moferi improved his own English through reading, he says. “I used to struggle a lot at my previous job, because I couldn’t speak or understand English properly, which made communication with my colleagues extremely difficult. So I used to get myself different English books and read them.”
“This is why I enjoy reading to the children so much,” says Moferi.
Phumla Mountain, principal at Dalukhanyo, says, “They [the kids] get very excited when the mobile library arrives because they know that it’s story time. I think this programme is very important because it will equip the young ones with a language skill that will help them when they get to primary and high school.”
VUSA’s Nikki Matthews says, “Our academic programme showed that by the time the kids reach Grade 4 and have to start learning in English, they don’t know the basic words.”
VUSA has partnered with three early childhood development centres. “Our coaches go to the schools in the morning and do sport programmes and fun games, making sure that they introduce English words while doing so. Then the children are also read to from the library books,” says Matthews.
Donor funded, the mobile library has books and games. “We have 400 donated books … We do need more isiXhosa books, and we also want to make the programme available for older kids,” says Matthews.
Even though the mobile library programme is currently focused on Langa schools, Matthews said they would love to expand it in the future, but it would depend on funding and how successful the programme would ultimately be.
To asisst the library contact VUSA Trust Manager, Nikki Matthews on 0794374276 or
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.vusarugbyacademy.com.
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