World Book Day 2022 (officially on 23 April) is being celebrated at various children's hospitals around the country, courtesy of a partnership between AVI Community Trust and Book Dash.
AVI is the home of much-loved South African brands like I&J, Bakers, Spitz, Willards and Freshpak. AVI made a generous donation to Book Dash to sponsor book distribution. Book Dash's vision is that “every child should own a hundred books by the age of five”, because book ownership is one of the most effective ways of boosting a child's chances of academic success, and children who learn to love reading at a young age, and have their own books at home, have a measurable advantage over their peers.
The result of the partnership is that 4,500 Book Dash books, packed in sets of 6 books each, are being given to 750 children in paediatric hospitals around the country. These young patients are often hungry for stimulation and entertainment during the long periods they spend at hospital for their treatment; these little libraries that they receive will be theirs to keep forever and start them off as readers.
The books are being distributed by different partner organisations who promote literacy and reading in the healthcare sector, like The Doodle Foundation (at the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital and Baragwanath's paediatric wards), and who value the role of books in their treatment of children, like the Cerebral Palsy Clinic at the Red Cross Children's Hospital. Other partners include the Children’s Hospital Trust at the Red Cross, and the KZN Children’s Hospital Trust.