When the President announced the COVID-19 lockdown at the end of March, I got worried about how best I could reach out to children around the world and motivate them. As a Literacy Activist I came up with a plan to read my books to children. But that was not enough, so I decided to invite other children and supporters of my foundation to read out children’s books to children. In fact, I was privileged to be among people around the world to be part of the launch of a campaign called #SaveWithStories, originally created by ‘Save the Children USA’ trustee and actor Jennifer Garner. Many thanks to ‘Save The Children South Africa’. Because lockdown did not end this, it feels like a great opportunity to put out a great call for awareness to the reading material by the foundation. They are free, so parents will have to just download and let children listen.
Children around the world have their education disrupted or put on hold by the COVID-19. This has caused so much stress on children and their parents also. They now need more support from parents and caregivers, to help them handle the stress and to support their education. Although much focus has turned to online learning platforms, many schools are not set up to use them or do not have the technology and equipment to provide online teaching. Which is a big challenge.
Through my foundation under its Promoting Literacy drive, we call for videos from children reading. Just making your children read to the foundation keeps them both busy and stimulated during this lockdown and beyond. We urge children around the world to do a video of 5 minutes in landscape format. They should be reading a children’s book (or any of my, Stacey’s, books), so that we could upload on my social media to edutain children.
They simply have to introduce themselves, say where they are reading from, for instance Accra in Ghana, and mention the book title and the author.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that as from the 1st of May, the country is on Level 4 of lockdown. We look ahead to when lockdown measures are lifted. I wish the government prioritises the restoration of children-safe education environments and to ensure that children have access to full education.
Stay home, stay safe and wash your hands.
By Stacey Fru
Photo by Aaron Burden/Unsplash