Mid-term report


CBN workshops encompass a rich mix of story, activity, books, art, books, drama, books, craft, books, puppets, books … whatever it takes. Here is a brief summary of what we have been working on since the beginning of our financial year in March.

In the four years we have been in operation, we have offered 70 days of workshops attended by 1 500 children (and yes, some of them were the same children and we saw immense growth in their reading skills over time.) So far this year we have held 16 workshop days, reaching over 165 children (some came to a three-day workshop).

That is a lot … but not enough.

This year we have developed three ideas, while continuing with the proven workshops that are really working well. The intention is to share skills with others who can carry our methods to a wider – and larger – audience.


We are working with organizations that would like to give the kind of workshops we offer, but don’t have the staff or skills. This has resulted in two funded workshops this year- the three-day holiday reading programme at Enlighten Education Trust in Hermanus and a one-day workshop at Centre for the Book (SA National Libraries) with 12 teacher-librarians and 30 children. (Details of all workshops, including six that were CBN-funded in Stanford, can be found under www.childrensbook.co.za/workshops/reports)


During this year we have also initiated a programme of training librarians and teacher-librarians to use our methods. We are very excited by the tremendous reaction from teacher-librarians. They really need and want some help to lighten up their library activities

So far this year we have worked with 25 librarians in workshop situations with children (and spoken to many more) about our toolbox plan. In mid-August Lesley will be giving a developmental workshop with around eight librarians as part of the Franschhoek Literary Festival Library Fund programme.


The critical part of this training is a toolbox. There are several articles about the toolbox project on our website at www.childrensbook.co.za/workshops/toolboxes

The basic concept is to source themed books for three different boxes under the headings

• Books and Stories
• The Green, Green theme
• Time

The themes are introduced by a specially written and illustrated book:

Zeb, Super-Book Hero! In which Zeb (who is already a reader) flies through the stars into different books relating to the themes.

The boxes include 60 theme-related books

• Super-Duper Books (individual funding or publishers donations) 5 Books
• Super-Books – 5 Books
• Theme Books – 10 Books
• Fact Books – 15 books
• Story Books – 10 books
• Poetry – 2 books
• Music – 2 books
• Art – 1 book
• CBN Reading Game books – 10

There is also a comprehensive manual for teacher-librarians with activities, ideas and methods.

The CBN Reading Game

An important activity is the CBN Reading Game, where children play a board game where they have to locate a book from the box, find the page and read aloud the answer to the question.


We are currently looking for a dedicated fund-raiser – and they are hard to find. We have our NPO status and bank account and are in the process of following the SARS trail. We have registered with Givengain on our website for smaller donations.


Any suggestions about potential funders or fund-raisers will be enthusiastically followed up!

Warm thanks for your interest.

Lesley Beake

082 6464 420

Join the CBN mailing list