Literacy NGO Read to Rise distributed its 100 000th book in the Oaky series to a pupil at Cascade Primary School in Tafelsig on Thursday May 17.
Grade 3 pupil Kaylum Leitch was excited to be part of the milestone.
The series was written by Westridge-born author Athol Williams and illustrated by his wife, Taryn Lock, who is also the co-founder and executive director of Read to Rise.
Read to Rise offers fun, interactive class programmes for pupils in the foundation phase.
They have lessons, read a story, discuss the story, sing a song and give each pupil their own new book to take home.
On Thursday the Plainsman joined Read to Rise programme manager for Mitchell’s Plain, Roscoe Williams, in class, where he encouraged pupils to grow and reach for their dreams, just as Oaky did.
Mr Williams told the pupils to imagine themselves as Oaky, who grew from being an acorn into a sampling, a small tree and then into a big oak tree – just like they grow from being babies, to toddlers and small children.
“Who helped him to grow?” asked Mr Williams of the children.
“The big oak tree,” said one of the pupils.
Mr Williams said the children should imagine their parents and teachers as mentors, who are older and able to guide them.
He said just as Oaky asks questions in the next book in the series, so too should the pupils, to make sure they are growing in the right direction.
“Put yourself in the story. The story is about you,” he said.
He said pupils should stand up for themselves and that the winner in any fight was the person who walked away from a fight.
“Do you know why children fight?” he asked.
“They want to hide that they can’t read.”
Mr Williams said the pupils should work hard at school and continue reading at home.
“We mustn’t try to be like others. We must be the best that we can be,” he said.
He said no matter, who or what pupils wanted to be when they were older, it all depended on their ability to read.
“If you are a sportsman, and you are given a contract but you can’t read how much you are due to earn, or your worth, you may be taken advantage of,” he said.