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Archway Foundation fosters reading in Western Cape Library Competition

Three little Cape Town junior schoolgirls emerged as the winners out of 31 finalists in the annual Library Information Services District 4 reading competition for which residential development company Garden Cities provided the prizes.

The event culminated at the Belhar Civic Centre in a morning of entertainment and fierce competition among the boys and girls who had reached the finals. The children were drawn from schools covered by the District 4 library information service includng Belhar, Delft, Gugulethu, Crossroads and Athlone, representing 20% of the total coverage of libraries in the Western Cape. District 4 supports 15 libraries.

The three winners were Mabuzele Mfeketo of Sikelela Imizamo Primary School in Crossroads, Fadwa Fakier of Rondebosch East Primary and Nadia Williams of Montana Primary in Kalksteenfontein who won prizes valued at R7 300 donated by the Archway Foundation.

The competition started in 2003 in Valhalla Park and now includes the entire district. The winners are chosen in three categories – those reading in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa. In the competition, each contestant reads from a text that they haven't seen before and are also judged on comprehension as well as their results in a short spelling test. Each category has a first, second and third position.

Dairmaid Wessels, Library Information Services District 4 Manager, said that the competition was growing fast and he expected it would spread to a large proportion of the 6 districts. Contributions from companies such as Garden Cities, through its Corporate Social Investment arm The Archway Foundation, were valuable in creating an incentive for the children to compete. 'They respond well to the thought of a decent prize for their efforts,' he said.

The prizes included three scientific calculators, memory sticks, and a CD player for the three first prizewinners. All the contestants got goodie bags and all 31 finalists were given a starter savings account of R100 each. Garden Cities' Chief Financial Officer Kim Gibson presented the prizes and the event was also attended by the company CEO, John Matthews.

The Archway Foundation has so far provided 36 halls for disadvantaged schools in the Western Cape and its programme is on-going against a need for 700 halls in the province.

Any company wanting to assist with providing school halls should call John Matthews on 021 5587181.

Well done! The three first prize winners in the three language categories in the Library Information Services District 4 reading competition were from left, front: Fadwa Fakier (English), Wabuzela Mfeketo (isiXhosa) and Nadia Williams (Afrikaans). In the picture with the girls and some of their schoolmates are Dairmaid Wessels (back left), District 4 Library Information Services Manager who organises the annual event, John Matthews, CEO of Garden Cities and the Archway Foundation that sponsored prizes and Kim Gibson, Garden Cities Chief Financial Officer (back right), who presented the prizes.

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