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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 Red Hill, at Clanwilliam and now with our Teen Team from Hermanus High School). With pre-school children (at Kayamundi in Stellenbosch) as well as Early Learners from De Kop and Stanford South. 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.


26 Feb 2021
Nobody must ever be in any doubt about why we work with Children’s Book Network. It is because of the children.
2 Nov 2018
Making children happy is one of the most important objectives of CBN. Yes, we are about books and reading. But the children who come to our workshops are exposed to other things as well. We aim to...
5 Oct 2018
‘Children smile 400 times a day on average, adults 15 times. Children laugh 150 times a day, adults 6 times per day. Children play between 4 to 6 hours a day, adults only 20 minutes a day. What's...
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...
28 Oct 2015
This is the song of welcome sung by Red Hill children at the triumphant arrival of Johan Wiklund after his epic flight from northern Scandinavia. The words are by Lesley Beake and the song was...
26 Oct 2015
Three years ago, in a CBN workshop given at Red Hill informal settlement, Michael Buwa wrote about his dream. His dream was to fly. Yesterday that dream came true.
15 Dec 2014
These are some of our happiest highlights from 2014 at Chlildren's Book Network. Enjoy!
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.
25 Mar 2014
CBN and the participating young people from Red Hill took the Swedish students for a tour around their Red Hill homes. The purpose was for us to show them where the children come from and how they...
9 Sep 2013
Thirty children from Grades 4,5 and 6 ( from 10-12 years old) started their own book revolution for National Literacy Day today. Stories were shared, books were introduced and presents handed out.