Our Work

What do we do?

CBN is a Not-for-Profit (NPO) and registered as such. We work with donors who understand the critical importance of reading for children aged between 10 and 12 – the ages that we work with. 

These children have received minimal basic literacy, in their own mother tongue (we have eleven official languages). When they switch to learning in English at age ten, they are not adequately prepared. They cannot read either for meaning or pleasure – in any language. 

We do not usually work with schools – although some schools have welcomed us informally to help redress this imbalance.  We work with communities, individuals and organizations who see the desperate need, but struggle to find enough suitable reading materials. In our toolboxes and at our workshops, we provide the kind of reading that children can enjoy and be inspired by – and a trail of interesting texts and books to follow … until they become readers. That is our work. Those children are our inspiration.

How we do it

  • We work in under-resourced, mostly rural, areas where there is little support and help for vulnerable readers. 
  • We are a small organization, working from a spare room and a garden hut. Meetings are around a dining room table. We supply our own equipment.
  • We choose themes that will interest children of ten, eleven and twelve.
  • We search out books published locally and internationally to expand the theme. 
  • The books must be relevant, beautiful, and imaginative – and, above all, excellent.
  • Within those themes, we offer specially written texts – non-fiction as well as fiction, poetry as well as fun – that expand the theme and make the readers think.
  • We add an unobtrusive course on how to read better, a beginner’s writing course and a host of activities, and art projects.


We offer complete reading privacy and choice. There is no marking, correcting of spelling, monitoring of hand-writing or other obstructions to free and joyful reading. We offer fun and the peace to imagine – to imagine anything at all. We monitor the results in unobtrusive ways, but the best result is the gleam in the eyes of a child who has – at last – connected with the words on the page. A child who can read for meaning as well as fun. A reader.

*PIRLS Report on the state of reading worldwide at:  https://pirls2021.org/results/

Our CBN Mantra:


How to help

Click on the donate button to learn more about how you can help!

www.childrensbook.co.za | info@childrensbook.co.za

14 Long Market Street, Stanford, 7210 | P.O. Box 121, Stanford, 7210 | 0826464420

TRUSTEES: Lesley Beake, Anthony Gregorowski, Dave Mohr, Hildegard Witbooi

The Children’s Book Network Trust No. IT20964/2014 | NPO 163-927 |

PBO 930054855 | Section 18A

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