Toolbox Celebration!


Some projects turn out to be a lot bigger – and a lot more work – than expected, and the CBN Toolbox Project definitely falls into that category.

Our aim was to produce a method of spreading the work that we do as widely as possible so that more and more children could benefit from the methods we have developed over the last seven years. CBN will have seen 1 200 children during 2019, but that is not enough. We want more teacher-librarians, community organizations and youth organizations to be able to spread the reading word.

Our toolboxes contain:

• Five themed bags with books and additional material to give a series of reading workshops over three or four weeks. There are stories to read, books to share and ideas for activities.

• The CBN Reading game – a board game where moving around the board depends on referencing a page in a given book, finding the answer and reading it out to the other players. This is enormously popular.

• Twenty quiet reading books (which are also used in the CBN Reading Game).

• Twenty Imagination Cards – laminated pictures that we have used to inspire writing, thinking, discussion and illustration.

• A detailed handbook outlining the theory behind our work as well as giving practical advice about organizing a CBN group.

• A red bag with the paperwork! This we have kept to a minimum, but there are permission slips to photocopy and send out to parents, attendance registers and forms to record any expenses.

The Red Toolbox (the first of three we are planning) is called Books and Stories and the five themes it addresses are:

• Books and Stories
• Imagination
• Bravery
• The Arts
• Fun!

On Wednesday we presented the final version of this toolbox, which we have been trialling during 2019 to one of our major funders. We have already distributed four toolboxes, a further four are going to Mitchells Plain at the end of November (with a training workshop associated) and there are 12 more stacked up and ready to go out soon.

We are extremely proud of this achievement and would particularly like to thank Wilien van Zyl for her tireless work in assembling them, ordering the books and tracking down the materials – to say nothing of driving the laminating machine!

There is great difficulty photographing the contents of a toolbox. We will try to show as much as we can.

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