The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) has been around since 2003, and is the world’s biggest prize for children’s and young adult literature. It is given to authors, illustrators, story tellers and “reading promoters” around the world for their lifetime achievements.
Based in Cape Town, theProject for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (PRAESA) is an organisation that has worked to promote reading and literature for children and young people in South Africa since 1992.
For more than twenty years, PRAESA has made powerful, innovative moves to highlight literature as a key component of both personal and societal development, always grounded in the specific conditions of South African society and culture. Its work focuses on encouraging children to read for enjoyment, building their self-esteem, and helping them connect to their native language through reading and story.
Literacy learning can take place in any language and it is the democratic right of all South African children to use their mother tongues not only to learn the formal school curriculum, but to also access the wonders, mysteries and satisfaction of stories – told and read. PRAESA strives to help enable conditions for learning, inside and outside of school, which motivate children and adults to want to read and write – and enable them to actually do so – in African languages and in English.
To this end, PRAESA concentrates on:
research and development programmes about bilingualism and biliteracy in early childhood education
raising the status of the (official) African languages for oral and written language functions in society
mentoring adults to deepen understandings and appreciation of the value of becoming reading and writing role models for children of all ages and supporting their growing understandings and strategies for achieving this
initiating the development of materials for use with babies and children in multilingual situations, through original writing and translation.
To find out more about PRAESA and the fantastic work they do, follow this link: PRAESA