Book club workshop promotes reading culture amongst youth

02 Sep 2019 17:21pm
WINDHOEK, 02 SEP (NAMPA) – The Goethe-Institut hosted a workshop on Saturday to equip young children with the necessary tools and skills to start book clubs at their schools and in their communities.
The book club workshop is an initiative by children’s books author Helvi Itenge and co-facilitated by Madeline Carlman, a volunteer from the United States of America.
The workshop was convened to equip the children to start book clubs at their schools, within their communities, at libraries and resource centres across the country.
Fourteen children attended the workshop.
The youngest, Etuna Martin, was five years old and the eldest participant was 15-year-old Talishi Kangandjela from Delta Secondary School.
The Book Club Workshop as an event is a precursor to the Namibia Book Fair, which is intended to promote a reading culture as an effective tool in the education of the Namibian child.
“Reading from a young age empowers learners with a broader understanding of the world and prepares them for the challenges they will experience as they grow into adulthood,” Itenge, the founder of the Namibia Book Fair, told Nampa on the sidelines of the workshop.
She also encouraged reading as an enjoyable pastime that shapes a child’s creative intelligence and helps them gain an understanding of the world they live in.
Itenge and Carlman encouraged parents to play an active role in helping their children establish book clubs in their respective communities.
Finding a venue and transport from home to the venue can be a challenge for the children if parents are not actively involved in their book club activities, the two literature promoters said.
Itenge has authored 10 children’s books which are based on traditional stories, including ‘Shimbungu Naa Kavandje’ (Jackal and Hyena).
The books are written in English but the writer has expressed intentions to have them translated into indigenous languages to promote diversity in Namibia’s literature landscape.
‘Nehoya and the Crocodile’, a children’s book she also wrote, has been adapted into a stage play by ChiNamibia in partnership with students from the College of the Arts.
The play will be performed at the fourth Namibia Book Fair which is scheduled to take place at the Namibia University of Science and Technology Windhoek campus on 06 September 2019.