The South African Book Development Council along with various organisations who are championing reading promotion in South Africa, will be taking to social media to engage citizens on why reading for leisure is so important. Be a part of the conversation as we celebrate World Book Day with the launch of #readbecause. At 12pm on Tuesday, 23 April 2019.
Literacy organisations responding to the growing challenge of reading and writing proficiency levels amongst South Africans such as FunDza Literacy Trust, Nal'ibali, the Library Information Association of South Africa, National Library of South Africa, the Publishers Association of South Africa, Project Literacy and Van Schaik Bookstores will take to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to share stories of why they read, in an effort to encourage the public to share their #readbecause and to challenge perceptions around reading and books.
The primary aim of #readbecause is to showcase unity of purpose among the multitude of organisations who work towards promoting a reading culture in South Africa and to encourage more people to perceive the value of reading.
Inspired by National Book Week celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2019, #readbecause is a national campaign born out of the need for a collaborative approach towards increasing the culture of reading for leisure in SA. There are diverse organisations implementing their own individual programmes and making exceptional strides. In late 2018 these organisations came together to collectively reconsider the way they approach reading promotion and as a result, a stronger push to promote the importance and value of the book was instituted. This campaign is aiming to use available platforms such as social media and physical spaces in the form of libraries and reading clubs to create a movement that reaffirms the value of reading for leisure as it has a direct correlation to growth and success.
Books contain many words that children are unlikely to encounter in frequently spoken language and with 78% of Grade 4 learners being unable to read for comprehension in any language, #readbecause is a response to President Cyril Ramaphosa's call for a reading revolution. Children who know adults who read for pleasure take it for granted that reading is a valuable and worthwhile activity, while being told stories in any language, is known to feed a child's imagination and contributes to the development of abstract thought.