Present to add a bit of colour and energy to the visits was the Collect-a-Can mascot, the CANman, who had boxes of reading books in tow for the schools to add to their libraries in exchange for the cans the pupils and school staff had collected for recycling. (Images: Collect-a-Can SA)Together with partners and stakeholders, Collect-a-Can’s (a can recovery and recycling organisation), Collect-a-Book initiative has managed to collect approximately 3000 books that they hope will help foster a love of reading literature among the five underprivileged schools they had identified to receive these books.About 3 000 books were donated by Collect-a-Book to five underprivileged schools, in the hopes they would spark a love of reading in the children.Collect-a-Book is an offshoot of Collect-a-Can, the well-known can recovery and recycling organisation. A number of partners joined the initiative, which was Collect-a-Can’s effort to mark Mandela Month this year. It tied into Nelson Mandela’s love of reading and his belief in the role the youth had to play in transforming South Africa as a whole.The books were handed over to the schools on 23 and 24 July; on the days, the pupils were treated to fun-filled interactive reading with volunteers and staff, who were on hand to help make it a time to remember.Zimasa Velaphi, Collect-a-Can’s public relations and marketing manager, said the aim of Collect-a-Book was to put books in the hands of underprivileged pupils and “bring reading books to life, while making a lasting and memorable difference in schools”.Groups of volunteers and partners, along with a number of staff members from Collect-a-Can, made their first stop at Zitha Primary School in Vanderbijlpark, in Gauteng on Thursday. Visits to the four other schools were on Friday. They were: Chuma Primary School in Khayelitsha, Cape Town; Khalipha Primary School in Umlazi, Durban; Boepakitso Primary School in Diepkloof, Johannesburg; and Bokamoso Primary School in Soshanguve, Tshwane.Present to add a bit of colour and energy to the visits was the Collect-a-Can mascot, the CANman, who had boxes of reading books in tow for the schools to add to their libraries in exchange for the cans the pupils and school staff had collected for recycling.Selected classes at the schools were treated to what the facilitators of the initiative called “READalicious” activities. These involved teaching the children the many benefits of reading through interactive exercises and group reading sessions. They showed that reading could be fun, and could be considered more than just a part of the school curriculum.The activities were designed to prove to the children that reading could help to unlock the imagination and widen their scope of reference.Velaphi explained that the importance of reading for pleasure could not be underestimated. A study on children and reading “showed that reading for pleasure positively influences children’s learning abilities, especially with regards to developing their vocabulary, spelling abilities and mathematics skills”.It was important, she added, for Collect-a-Can to ensure this was not a once-off event. “Schools can look forward to a follow-up visit for International Literacy Day on Tuesday, 8 September 2015, when we hope to find that these learners have fallen in love with reading for pleasure.”The many partners who played a part in the success of the initiative included ReaderLympics, Biblionef, Molteno, Pan Macmillan, Dainfern Valley Estate and Tshikovha Environmental and Communication Consultancy.“Nothing encapsulates the spirit of Mandela Month more than working together to make a positive difference in our underprivileged communities,” Velaphi concluded.For more information about Collect-a-Can, visit its website or telephone on 011 466 2939.
Kanimozhi at the Patiala House court for the 2G trial in MayLodged in the assistant superintendent’s office in Tihar Jail in a cell especially created for her because of security reasons, Kanimozhi misses her 10-year-old son Adithyan the most. He is under the care of his grandmother Rajathi Ammal. She,Kanimozhi at the Patiala House court for the 2G trial in MayLodged in the assistant superintendent’s office in Tihar Jail in a cell especially created for her because of security reasons, Kanimozhi misses her 10-year-old son Adithyan the most. He is under the care of his grandmother Rajathi Ammal. She also misses her diamond nose-pin, an accessory she has sported since she was a little girl. She had sought permission to continue wearing it, saying she felt “improperly dressed” without it, but jail authorities did not allow it, or indeed any other jewellery.Adithyan visits her often, but not often enough, as jail rules allow visits by family members twice a week. That is the only time her calm cracks. “Once she broke down and kept saying sorry to her son”, disclosed a jail official who understands Tamil. Though the prisoners meet their families in ‘mulaqaat’ (meeting hall) with a glass shield in between, she was allowed to meet her son in the superintendent’s office because she wanted to hug him.Jail officials say Kanimozhi keeps to herself and does not interact much with other inmates. By various accounts, she appears to be an Orhan Pamuk fan. On May 20, when she was sent to jail, she carried a half-read My Name is Red with her. Museum of Innocence by the same author is keeping her company now. Kanimozhi spends her time reading and writing poetry. “She keeps writing something or the other and is completely immersed in it”, reveals a jail official. She was earlier lodged in ward number 8, which is called the ‘mulayaza’. It is a place where new inmates are lodged for the first six months to prevent them from interacting with the more hardened inmates. It is the only ward which has a spacious courtyard in the centre, where inmates can mingle with each other.advertisement”She is the calmest of the 2G lot and doesn’t make unreasonable demands”, says the jail official, referring to the other vvips lodged in Tihar for the 2G spectrum scam. They include former telecom minister and Kanimozhi’s party colleague A. Raja, the Balwa brothers, Unitech’s Sanjay Chandra, Karim Morani, Kalaignar tv’s managing director Sharath Kumar, senior bureaucrats and corporate executives.Till June 10, it was not very difficult for her or for the others in the 2G case to spend the day since they had daily hearings at Patiala House. They were out of the prison at 9 a.m. and returned around 6 in the evening. The day was spent in the air-conditioned CBI court, where the accused could meet their families. Now, with the courts closed for vacation till June 24, the day has to be spent in the jail.A jail official said that she once enquired about a beauty parlour on the premises. “She was told about one run by jail inmates which is free of cost, and the other run by Jawed Habib which costs money. She has not visited either yet”, the official said