Book Dash Jozi 2018: Access to books is imperative to improving literacy

South Africa has made little headway in resolving its literacy crisis – and labelling it a crisis is no overstatement. With the 2016 international Progress in Reading and Literacy Study (PIRLS) showing that 78% of South African children cannot read with comprehension after four full years of schooling, it is now more vital than ever to ensure that all children have access to reading materials.

Book Dash Jozi 2018 will see creative volunteers gather on Saturday, 27 October to create unique, African storybooks toaddress the lack of access to culturally relevant books for young children in Africa.

This literacy organisation believes that by the age of five every child should own 100 books. To help achieve this, Book Dash plans to distribute 600 million free books to South African children who cannot afford to buy books.

In a single Book Dash day, volunteer creative teams work together at a lightening pace to create beautiful African children’s books that anyone can freely access, print and distribute. All books are completed in 12-hour sprints by creative professionals who volunteer their time because they believe in the Book Dash vision. Thereafter, anyone can obtain sponsored print runs and place books into the hands of deserving children.

While children in South Africa are in dire need of more books, the cost of acquiring books from publishers is usually prohibitive. A much more cost effective option is to create books that are not attached to a publisher and the only factor to be considered is the cost of printing.

To date, Book Dash has created 108 titles and has printed and distributed over 200,000 copies of these titles to children across the country.

This year’s Book Dash in Johannesburg is sponsored by the Otto Foundation Trust and will take place at Streetlight Schools in Jeppestown, Johannesburg.

30 November -1, 00:00