Parow goes française

IMG 2443-webClive Justus (chairperson for sub council 4), Jérôme Chevrier (head librarian of the French Institute in Johannesburg), Christian Pizafy (director of the Alliance Française, Cape Town) and Kathleen Laishley (head librarian of the Parow library) with a selection of the donated books.

A hand picked selection of 150 beautiful new French childrens books are begging to be read at the Parow library.

This book collection was donated by the Alliance Française and the French Institute in what forms part of a literary collaboration between France and Souh Africa. Parow library is the second South African library to receive this kind of donation from them.

“These books can be taken out from today,” says Kathleen Laishley, head librarian, speaking at the launch of the books on 11 June.

She says these books cater for French speaking children from babies to teens.

“Many children in this area are French speaking, but they do not necessarily read or write in their mother tongue,” she says. “It might be very important for them to be able to do that, should they one day return to their country of origin.”

According to Natalie Marinus, head of Parow Preparatory school, they have many French speaking Congolese and Nigerian learners in the school.

“Some of these children can hardly speak English,” she says, but adds that she often sees in them a hunger to learn that exceeds that of the South African children at the school. She says language intervention is high on the priority list of the school.

“We are definitely going to use these books,” she says.

According to Jérôme Chevrier, head librarian of the French Institute who attended the launch, partnerships with libraries are very important. He says the institute is promoting the French language, but also wants to help cultivate a love for books among children.

The collection includes novels, cartoons, encyclopaedias and picture books.

Text and photo by Magriet Theron (@magrietron)
Article published in the Tyger Burger on 11-06-2014