The Cape Navigator

Seaside Community Newspaper

Cape Town

Cape Town Libraries Gear Up for World Read Aloud Day, Aiming to Reach 3 Million Children

Michael Hawthorne

In a concerted effort to promote literacy and instil a love for reading in children, The City of Cape Town’s libraries are set to participate in World Read Aloud Day (WRAD) on February 7, 2024. Collaborating with Nal’ibali, the local drivers of the project in South Africa, the city’s libraries aim to contribute to the national goal of reaching three million children with the enchantment of stories being read aloud.

WRAD, founded by LIT World in 2010, celebrates the art of reading aloud, community literacy, and the significance of sharing stories. Nal’ibali sets a national target each year, and for 2023, the goal is for all participants, including parents and caregivers, to collectively read to at least three million children across the country.

The City’s Library and Information Services (LIS) is a key partner in this initiative, with WRAD events scheduled to take place in all libraries across the city. Councillor Patricia van der Ross, Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, emphasized the importance of developing reading culture among children, stating, “One of our aims is to develop a culture of reading among our children, and it starts with hearing stories being read out loud.”

Reading aloud, she highlighted, plays a crucial role in developing listening skills, modelling language use, and improving vocabulary and comprehension. Additionally, it serves as a motivating factor for young children to begin reading for themselves.

To make WRAD accessible to all, most City libraries will offer storytelling sessions. Librarians in some suburbs will go a step further, reaching out to areas where young children may face challenges in visiting the library independently.

The flagship event is set to unfold at the Green Point Urban Park, where 200 invited children will have the opportunity to listen to captivating stories shared by a lineup of skilled storytellers. The City encourages residents to pledge their support and download stories from the Nal’ibali website ( to be read aloud on the day.

Councillor Van der Ross acknowledged the challenges parents and caregivers face in finding time amidst their busy schedules to read aloud to children. She urged them to start with just one story, emphasizing that the benefits extend beyond bonding and contribute to a child’s education and future.

For more information on WRAD activities in your area, visit your nearest library or check the City of Cape Town’s online catalogue at The City of Cape Town is committed to making this World Read Aloud Day a memorable and impactful experience for children across the city.


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