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What Children?

CBN passionately believes that ALL children should have the chance to read books that interest and excite them. ALL children should have access to books that take them into other worlds, other lives ...

This does not always happen, particularly for children disadvantaged by poverty, living in remote areas and growing up in a society where books are neither available nor valued.

Primary school children who have learned to read, but don’t read, are the group we work with most. But CBN is always flexible and we have been asked to work with teenagers (at the first Red Hill workshop) and with pre-school children (at Kayamundi in Stellenbosch). If we can help, we will. If we can’t help, we look for a colleague or sister organization that can. The main objective of our Franschhoek Seminar was to establish the kinds of informal links that can make that happen.

We work with communities and libraries, with parents, teachers and librarians but above all we work with children and their age is not the most important factor. We know that upper primary school level is probably where we can do the most good, but we go where we are invited to go and are always ready to make a plan.


6 Dec 2017
‘The literacy crisis in South Africa is far worse than previously thought, with 78% of Grade 4 learners unable to read, according to the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS)...
18 Nov 2017
Of all the children we have worked with, the ones we met on Wednesday touched us most deeply.
13 Mar 2016
We allow a self-selection process, which is administered by community workers or librarians. Permissions forms are issued to children who are interested (hopefully within the specified age groups,...
12 Mar 2016
The CBN team works with children who are needy in all of these aspects of their lives, underprivileged in the lack of opportunity and resources to learn to love reading, disempowered in not having...
19 Aug 2014
If there could be a measurement of success after workshops, we feel it would be measured by the amount of laughing (as opposed to giggling) that goes on.
18 Aug 2014
We work with children of ten, eleven and twelve (for the most part) and most of them speak English as their second, or even third, language.