Let us inculcate reading!

At the same time it’s the start of setting up free libraries in all CHOC houses where a youngster with childhood cancer and a parent are looked after while the child undergoes treatment. Anyone may stop by and pick up a book (or two) and bring back another one (or two) to replace the one taken so more can share the pleasure of reading.

The idea stems from the game played with small kids to keep them amused, with the older person hiding their face, then popping back into view saying “Peek-a-Boo”. As with the books, now you’ll see them, now you won’t, then suddenly the missing ones will be replaced. It’s a smart idea to promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges, nationally.

You can be involved by donating books, which READ will check to ensure suitability for the target audience. While the exchange system will remain, the boxes of books will form the basis of the first free libraries in the CHOC houses. You can also spearhead a drive to have your own community Pick-a-Boo(k) exchange system. 

The urgent need to spread literacy in South Africa can be underlined by the fact that today’s world economy is information-based, thus to compete successfully all our citizens need to be literate.  While experts agree that human babies arrive in the world geared for instinctive language learning – even at two or three – up to the ages of five or six years, reading plays a vital part in learning another language after this, which the vast majority of South Africans have to do to fit into the business and global economy.

While the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation’s primary objective is to promote early detection of childhood cancer and help children and their families cope with the trauma of treatment, the organisation appreciates the influence in-house libraries will have on combating illiteracy.

Since treatment can take months, there is a lot of time to encourage literacy among CHOC’s house guests. A free library will make a tremendous difference.

By entering into the spirit of Pick-a-Boo(k) Boxes on April 23, you’ll be helping to create an exciting new world for those who not only need the diversion but need the empowerment literacy gives to everyone.

For more information on how you can establish your own Pick-a-Boo(k) Box in your community or business environment or to donate books for the initiative contact Read Educational Trust on (011) 496-3322  or email: info@read.co.za

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