Publisher 'investing in our future' by donating children's books to the needy

20 April 2020 - 16:29
Book Dash is providing physical and online copies of their titles for families during lockdown.
Book Dash is providing physical and online copies of their titles for families during lockdown.
Image: Supplied

One of the biggest concerns during the period of lockdown is the fact that millions of children in South Africa are dependent on school feeding schemes, where they receive at least one nutritious meal per day.

With schools closed for the extended lockdown period, these children, who are already vulnerable, are exposed to hunger and the real prospect of starvation.

Book Dash is a local, not-for-profit publisher of high-quality books for young children. They believe that all children should own 100 books by the age of five. Creative volunteers and an innovative publishing model make it possible for them to give away hundreds of thousands of books to children to own - at a fraction of the usual cost.

The books they create are also published to their website under an open license. This means all 137 books can be read online for free at bookdash.org.

Book Dash has an extended network of strong partner organisations that work in communities around the country to provide community-based early childhood development and literacy services.

Some of these organisations have holistic approaches to support the children in their care and have shouldered the burden of providing food parcels to these families during lockdown.

"When we heard that some organisations remain active to provide this service, we realised that it’s the perfect opportunity for Book Dash books to go straight to families," said the publisher.

"Sending high-quality, relevant children’s books to families in lockdown can provide opportunities for early learning, alleviate boredom and act as a spark for moments of shared joy between caregiver and child. For older siblings, the books are an opportunity to continue positive literacy practices, despite the closing of schools.

"During a time of thinking about immediate next steps, giving books to children to own is an investment in our future."

Book Dash has donated 1,000 books to three organisations in the Western Cape and the Free State.

The feedback from the organisations has been very positive.

"I don’t know who was more excited, the parents receiving the food packs or the children with their new books!" said one one of the moms: "Thank you - my daughter’s spirit is lifted."

Book Dash would like to give more books to support their partners’ important work. If anyone is interested in sponsoring or contributing toward future book donations, they can donate at bit.ly/book-dash-donate or get in touch with team@bookdash.org.

Article provided by Book Dash.