OUTREACH AND ADVOCACY PROGRAMMES
In 2009 the Centre for the Book piloted the Funda Mzantsi project in the Western Cape. This project established book clubs at high schools. The project was later expanded to other provinces and to correctional centres. The project aims to:
- Encourage book discussions
- Instil the love of reading
- Improve reading and book reviewing skills.
Funda Mzantsi Championship
Funda Mzantsi culminated in the Funda Mzantsi Championship. This is a competition where book club members can showcase their reading, book reviewing and debating skills. The competition adjudicators consider the following criteria to judge book club members:
- Reading skills
- Summarising skills
- Analytical skills
- Reviewing skills
World Book Day
The history/background of World Book Day
World Book and Copyright Day (also known as International Day of the Book or World Book Day) is a yearly event celebrated on 23 April, initiated by UNESCO to promote reading, publishing and copyright. The connection between 23 April and books was first made in 1923 by booksellers in Catalonia, Spain, in honour of the author Miguel de Cervantes who died on that day. This became part of the celebrations of Saint George’s Day (also 23 April). In 1995 UNESCO decided that World Book and Copyright Day would be celebrated on this date because of the Catalonian festival and because the date is also the anniversary of the birth and death of William Shakespeare.
World Book Day Celebrations in South Africa
World Book Day celebrations in South Africa are coordinated by the Centre for the Book. The aims of World Book Day Celebrations are:
- To raise awareness about the importance of reading
- To reach out and give people access to books
- To educate people to take care for their library facilities
- To celebrate books.
The Centre for the Book is responsible for managing activities related to the World Book Day, including a nationwide poster campaign. Approximately 30 000 posters are printed and distributed countrywide.
Door to Door Reading Campaign
The Door to Door Reading Campaign is an outreach programme aimed to give people access to books and raise awareness about reading. This campaign takes place a day before the actual World Book Day celebrations. The host province identifies a needy township, village or farm area to target. Books are donated to schools, pre-schools and libraries in the area. On the day of the campaign, campaigners consisting of librarians, authors, celebrities; politicians and others, walk down streets distributing books to local communities.