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FIRST WORDS IN PRINT (article first published : 2001-10-16)

First Words in Print is a campaign to bring books to all South African children under the age of six. It aims to encourage a learning culture in very young children, by providing locally-produced picture and storybooks written in all the official languages of South Africa.

The project also aims to support South African writers, illustrators and the publishing industry.

In a country where an estimated three million adults are illiterate and another eight million are functionally illiterate, the importance of stimulating an interest in reading and writing at an early age cannot be underestimated. The initiative aims to enhance the literacy, learning and general development of very young children and build a common literary heritage – an important part of developing a common South African culture.

The initial phase of the project will see 30,000 books distributed to South Africa’s poorest children in four pilot areas. This will then roll out to all of the provinces.

More details from Ronnie Simons on (021) 423-2669 or e-mail: ronnie.simons@nlsa.ac.za




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