About 200 children from four preschools had a chance to let their imaginations roam free at a storytelling festival in Plumstead’s Lympleigh Park last week.
The aim was to give literacy levels a boost, said Charmaine Fritz, a librarian at Southfield library, which together with four other libraries and various City departments, helped to organise the festival.
“The low literacy levels impact heavily on a child’s development as well as their school performance in all subjects. Programmes such as this storytelling session open the opportunities to engage their imaginations and spark creativity with the colourful and wide range of picture books available at the library,” Ms Fritz said.
Southfield library’s membership drive in Parkwood had found that none of the preschools there had been visited by library staff or been offered a reading programme, so the library’s staff had set out to change that, she said.
Children from Busy Bee Educare, Fairways Educare, Cool Kids Educare and Dove Road Children’s Centre attended the festival along with youngsters from Southfield library’s Pram Jammers storytelling initiative for a morning of storytelling, puppet shows, sports activities and face painting.
The City’s library mascot, LiBee, was also there, along with Bingo, the City’s anti-littering mascot; ward councillor Carmen Siebritz; and representatives from the City’s health department, recreation and parks department and Law Enforcement.
“The literacy process really does start either in the home, at the playschool or creche,” said Ms Siebritz. “So it is important that we continue with either the picture story or the actual storytelling because we know that whether it is one line that they pick up from that or two pages it all forms part of their growth and them being literate.”
Ann Albrecht, from the City’s health department, spoke to the children about the importance of hand washing.
Charmaine Theunissen, from Dove Road Children’s Centre, said she was glad the festival had also dealt with recycling and littering, and Sylvia Prezens, owner of Fairways Educare, said the children had especially enjoyed the storytelling and puppet shows, and now the preschool’s bins had been renamed Bingo.