As the world celebrates International Literacy Day, statistics by the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (Pirls) has revealed that 78% of Grade Four pupils in South Africa cannot read for meaning.

In response to the shocking statistics, a Kimberley based librarian has started a reading club for children to improve their reading and spelling skills.

Manda Hough says she could no longer sit and watch how pupils in some schools around Kimberley were unable to read.

“They come regularly to the library and we could see that they can’t read properly so we decided to start something like this to help the kids. I can definitely see an improvement, the kids that started could barely read sentences and now they can read a paragraph from a book,” says Hough.

Pupils who are part of the reading book club say they have benefited a lot from it and they can see improvements at school.