Improving literacy

KAYLYNN PALM
With the aim to improve literacy and encourage pupils to immerse themselves in reading, 30 pupils took part in the annual Library Reading Competition at Lentegeur library on Wednesday May 25.

Seven primary schools took part in the fifth competition, including Hyacinth, Meadowridge, Cornflower, Highlands, Northwood, Woodville and West End primary schools.

In the competition, pupils had to do a comprehension piece and a spelling test. This was in either English or Afrikaans.

Estelle Williams, assistant librarian at Lentegeur library, said the competition has grown and pupils have a keen interest in the event.

Ms Williams said the competition doesn’t only get children to read, but to enjoy reading. “Thus far the competition has been really successful. The pupils look forward to the event and are prepared.

“As we know competition forms part of life, so it is important to teach them how to compete successfully at an early age,” she said.

Hawa Mngomeni, 12 , from Cornflower Primary School in Lentegeur, said she had mixed emotions when it was her turn to read. “I was nervous and excited at the same time. Our teachers said we should read slowly and remain focused. I enjoy reading because I can learn about life and animals and it helps me with my vocabulary. I specifically enjoy reading fiction books, especially vampire ones,” she said.

Ghoosain Koopman, 13, from Meadowridge Primary School, also in Lentegeur, said he enjoyed participating in the competition. “Our school prepared us for the competition so I was a bit relaxed when I stood in front of the judges. Reading is power and you can only gain knowledge by doing it,” he said.

Ms Williams said since the competition, they have had reading programmes at the library. “We have noted that there are children who struggle to read in English and Afrikaans. Reading is essential as it is a tool you need daily. We now have a reading programme every Wednesday,” she said.

The winners for the competition are Carlynne Heins, 12, from Merrydale Primary School in Lentegeur for English and Mohisa Booysen, 12, from Northwood Primary School in Woodlands for Afrikaans.

They will now compete in the district round.