Our libraries and library programmes serve as quintessential building blocks to grow and establish a reading culture within our school communities. Children take cues from their physical environments and that can have a significant impact on their learning experience.
A well designed and beautiful space supports children’s cognitive and social development, including their mental health.A beautiful space is a non verbal way to tell children that they matter. It is important to design spaces that children want to spend time in.
The more time children spend in the library the more time they will be likely be reading or looking for books to take home. Learners are more likely to read for enjoyment when they have access to a diverse and attractive array of reading material, have choice in what they are reading, have role models that demonstrate a passion for reading, are motivated to read in an environment where reading is encouraged, valued and appreciated and have safe, comfortable spaces to read.
Sunflower Learning Centre
The Sunflower Learning Centre, the Otto Foundation's flagship library, is a shared library for Zonnebloem Girls’ and Boys’ Primary schools, established by the Otto Foundation in 2016. The Centre is run by a full-time library assistant who teach all grades in the Zonnebloem Girls’ and Boys’ Primary school a reading lesson every week.
The Protea Library serves the staff and learners of Walmer Estate Primary. The Library is managed by a full-time librarian - supported by the Otto Foundation Team. The Protea Library librarian assists in conceptualising and implementing literacy, reading and writing programmes for our whole cluster of schools in Zonnebloem/ District Six.
The Library is used to foster a culture of reading at Walmer Estate Primary School, develop learners’ research skills, host gatherings and provide an inspiring space for engagement for learners, teachers and the school community, promote proudly local children's literature.
We are incredibly grateful to the Kamvalethu Foundation partnered with us to fund the establishment of the Protea Library at Walmer Estate Primary School.
The Otto Foundation partnered with library NGO The Bookery to build a library at Holy Cross RC Primary School in District Six. The project was made possible with financial support from community members and philanthropic donors, including EO Cape Town, MySchool, the Kamvalethu Foundation, the MAID Foundation and the Jannie Mouton Foundation.
The Library is a beautiful, multi-functional space in a covered courtyard at the school, which has quite literally placed books, stories and reading at the heart of Holy Cross.
Two full-time librarians host weekly library lessons for the +-600 Holy Cross learners and manage an active lending programme. The library was built to honour the memory of Liyabona Mbaba, a Grade 1 learner from Holy Cross who died in a taxi accident in 2018. Liyabona means “he sees”. We believe that he sees what has been created in his memory. We believe that he is gladdened by what he sees. And we hope that the Liyabona Library will be a place that brings the Holy Cross family together, that gives them the assurance that they are “seen”, and that shows them that their stories are important. The library was officially opened on 25 January 2020