Literacy impacts on society in several ways namely, literate parents are more likely to send their children to school; literate people are better able to access continuing educational opportunities; and literate societies are better geared to meet pressing development.
Religious and community organisations are urged to also regularly highlight the importance of reading for personal and social development, not only the reading of the Bible and religious literature. We must extend the reading scope to include reading for pleasure.
Reading is part of nation building.
- Reading promotes confidence as an individual in a modern society, and as a member of a national and world community.
- Reading enables us to act creatively and critically in a world which is ever-changing and competitive.
- Reading provides rapid, ready access to new information and knowledge that will help us in life-long learning.
How to promote reading in your community
- Encourage church members to set aside time in their homes to Drop All and Read.
- We can also encourage all church members join and make use of the public library if possible.
- Set up and run reading clubs for children and adults. It is more effective if reading clubs are not seen as part of the school programme, but as something that is done for fun.
- The facilities of churches and other organisations can be used fruitfully during the week by being made available as quiet and comfortable reading spaces, under supervision of course.
- The venues of religious and community organisations can be used as collection points for book donations. The organisations can encourage their members and others to donate suitable books and magazines in good condition. The books can be kept to be used for the reading clubs, books for little ones can be donated to crèches and preschools, and suitable magazines and books of which there are extra copies can even be donated to families. The members of religious organisations that have contacts with businesses can approach the business for donations for the reading clubs.
- Communities can play an important role in ensuring that schools have effective libraries by showing an interest in the school library, encouraging the school to set up a library and use the allocated budget to buy library books, and volunteering to help with the school library. A person does not have to be a teacher or a librarian to help ensure that the library is open outside of school hours, cover books, paste in date sheets and book pockets, keep the library tidy or even issue and return books.
- Members of the community can also volunteer to read or tell stories to learners in schools. It is very important that adults in the community serve as reading role models.
Religious and community organisations play a leading role in our communities, and are also in a position to lead in the promotion of reading in the community. We are looking forward to working together for a successful nation.